The use of mobile devices to remotely monitor the health or location of patients with chronic diseases or conditions (referred to as patient monitoring) has already become a viable option.
Mobile device apps can provide public health surveillance, aid in community data collection, or assist disabled persons with independent living.
In one study, a single-lead electrocardiograph (ECG) was connected to a smartphone to diagnose and follow treatment of patients with sleep apnea, providing a possible alternative to costly and laboratory intensive polysomnography.
Sensors attached to garments that communicate with mobile devices have also been used to remotely monitor and collect medical data regarding chronically ill elderly patients.
A clinical monitoring system was developed to monitor an entire unit or one bed in intensive care via smartphone; it displays an alarm, color-coded according to severity, based on patient vital signs.
The app iWander for Android was developed to monitor and track patients with early Alzheimer’s disease who are prone to wandering by using the mobile device GPS.
HanDBase, a HIPAA-compliant relational database software program, can be used on mobile devices to track hospitalized patients according to their locations, diagnosis, tests, treatments, and billing information. Smartphone apps have also been used to monitor patients during rehabilitation.
For example, a smartphone connected via Bluetooth to a single-lead ECG device enabled the monitoring of patients in their own neighborhoods when they were unable to reach traditional hospital-based rehabilitation.
Although potentially useful, patient monitoring apps can be limited by factors such as Internet and GPS
reliability, as well as the patient’s ability to use the device .
Mobile apps that supplement medical devices are being developed. One example is iStethoscope, which uses the microphone function of the iPhone to auscultate and record.
In short, HCPs Use Mobile Devices and Apps in patient monitoring to:
- Monitor patient health
- Monitor patient location
- Monitor patient rehabilitation
- Collect clinical data
- Monitor heart function
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