From integrated, high-speed electronic circuits to new body-worn health-monitoring devices, to antennas that bend with the shape of the body, to robot surgeons, to wireless earbuds that send brainwave data to a smartphone, the age of telemedicine and pioneering biomedical devices is growing strong.
Telemedicine Improves Access to Health Care
Telemedicine, the delivery of clinical health care from a distance, has taken the world by storm, made possible by advanced information technologies and the advent of mobile communications. Overcoming geographic distance barriers and human physical limitations, telemedicine (or telehealth) has vastly improved access to medical services and is saving lives in emergency and critical-care situations. With the transmission of health data and medical information via the Internet, combined with effortless long-distance communications between patients and health-care providers, professional collaboration and medical care have been enhanced on a global level.
Revolutionary Biomedical Devices
Playing a pivotal role in this new medical milieu are telemedical and biomedical devices that are revolutionary in their nature and wondrous in their ingenuity to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients remotely. With scientists and researchers working around the clock to grow their telemedicine platform and outperform their last biomedical invention, there is no limit in sight to what we can expect to see in this exciting and still burgeoning field of medicine.
Across the industry, new biomedical devices are changing the face of traditional health-care services, creating new genres such as teledermatology, teleaudiology, teledentristry, teleradiology, telecardiology, and more. Each case involves medical consultations over a distance using audio, visual, and data communication, as well as advanced mobile applications and high-tech digital medical equipment used for screening, diagnosing, monitoring, and long-distance learning.
New in Telecardiology
New in the field of telecardiology, for example, are multiple methods of transmitting ECG (electrocardiograph) and EEG (electroencephalography) data wirelessly. Neuroscientists have created devices that use only a few electrodes to record electrical activity in the brain, replacing traditional cumbersome systems requiring up to 256 electrodes to be plastered to patients’ scalps and faces. These gadgets send readouts directly to a smartphone, play music, track footsteps, and can further record heart rate and number of calories burned.
Other biomedical devices provide aid directly to health-care providers, such as specialized cloud systems that transfer data from patients to physicians and allow practitioners to remotely monitor how compliant patients are with their treatment program and to pre-emptively catch problems and anticipate complications.
Wearable Digital Health-Care Devices
In the realm of digital wearables, the latest body-worn devices are smaller, smarter, and easier to manufacture. These include the use of liquid polymers, nanowires, and stencils to create flexible antennas that bend and take on the shape of the body while it flexes, allowing for improved health-monitoring devices. Moreover, future biomedical devices are slated to benefit from higher-speed electronic circuits that are integrated and can “talk to each other” via advanced cellular networks.
Impact of Biomedical Devices