M2M is good for your health and wellbeing

Published by Telefónica m2m Team m2m General, Consumer Electronics

Today we want to focus on one of the most promising uses of M2M technology for individuals. There has been a sharp growth in applications and uses of M2M in the world of health and wellness.

We have spoken about wellness gadgets that monitor your health ranging from a sports perspective to a more medical one. Let’s see some of the trends in health that are strongly growing.

“M2M technology may well provide the single most promising approach to expanding healthcare services in a cost effective manner”, said Andy Castonguay, Principal Analyst with Machina Research in the new Sector Report: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications in Healthcare 2013-23.

The report forecasts that the installed base of M2M connected devices within the health sector will reach as much as 847 million by 2023. North America – with 386 million connections expected by 2023, Europe and Developed Asia Pacific will be the biggest growth areas.

“While the cost dynamics of healthcare are a key factor driving innovation in the field, connected health devices and applications are also proving to be a key element in improving patient engagement and health”.

In Research2Guidance’s latest annual survey, 76% of mobile app publishers clearly point to diabetes as the next health app growth area –only 1.2 percent of people with this disorder use their smartphone to manage their condition. The next 4 years the use of mobile devices to track diabetes is expected to grow 7.8% -24 million people – according to the study.

In the world of wearables for example, BodyGuardian by Preventice is a comprehensive system that allows patients to be monitored at a distance with a non intrusive band that provides a constant flow of information.

BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System (RMS) received FDA clearance for detecting and monitoring non-lethal cardiac arrhythmias for ambulatory patients. The system was developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and uses sophisticated algorithms to support remote monitoring for individuals with cardiac arrhythmias.

The key to the success of M2M in health is “the principle of patient empowerment”, says Steve Kelly, Head of Healthcare at eseye.com. Solutions vary, from personal alarms with easy-to-use location devices to trackers and movement sensors to assist the elderly and patients with dementia or Alzheimer.

“Longer life expectancy teamed with the changing culture of families living farther apart, places substantial demands on health and social care services. Connected devices and monitoring systems to help keep people living independently for longer, helps reduce the demands on healthcare professionals and providers”, says Kelly.

The next generation of wearables may be as invisible or as visible as what you’re wearing. Clothes are including hidden sensors to monitor your vitals or even preventively inform your doctor when something is going right.

Using conductive yarn, sensors can be woven straight into one’s garments. “Wearable sensors will have to be invisible if they are to be adopted widely”, says Mark Pedley of wearable tech company SmartLife in Leicester, UK.

Early prototypes measure ECG on t shirts or EEG on hats. Tighter clothes can return respiration rates, body temperature or signs of stress reports New Scientist.

The real advance will come when these sensors tie in with big data and start to offer tips to improve health or predict health problems before they occur. “Patients will hopefully use data to communicate better with their physicians and take part in their own care”, says Michael Docktor, MD, director of clinical mobile solutions at Boston Children’s Hospital and a co-founder of Hacking Pediatrics.

Telefónica m2m Team

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