Does the future of health lie in mobile and wearable technology?

Peek eye

With the introduction of the new health app on iOS 8 it is evident that there is an increasing focus on how the world of mobile and technology can advance healthy living. The face of treatment for physical and mental disorders is slowly changing as new technology creates new opportunities.

PEEK App Improving Optical Healthcare

Many developing countries do not have access to diagnostic tools that can prevent blindness by catching the early onset of cataracts. A solution has been developed by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, a London based eye surgeon- the ‘Portable Eye Examination Kit’ or PEEK. This is an app that uses the camera on a smartphone to carry out vision tests with a 3D printed clip-on to scan the inside of an eye. In developing countries this innovative use of smartphones has the potential to be vastly beneficial. The most remote locations can be reached without the logistical issues of carrying large, expensive equipment. Dr Bastawrous is carrying out trials in five countries over the next five years to find and map every blind person in Botswana using PEEK. This is a prime example of mobile technology pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve with treatment.

PEEK video

Peek eye

 

Google Glass to Aid Autism

At the Annual World Focus on Autism event held in September, the importance of transforming ‘wearables’such as Google Glass, into assistive devices for those with Autism featured prominently Dr Ned Sahin, CEO of Brain Power contended through technology “we can rewrite the future of autism.” A Google Glass app has been created by the Fraunhofer Society called the SHORE Human Emotion Detector which through years of R &D, allows the technology to work in real-time. The app uses a large, anonymised database of different facial emotional expressions to identify someone’s mood. It is hoped in the future this software can act as an assitive intervention for emotion decoding. Google Glass could improve social interactions of everyday life acting as a communication aid for autistic people.

SHORE App video

Fraunhofer

 

Wearable Health Care Technology

There has been a significant rise in new types of wearable technology that are able to track body vitals such as heartbeat and temperature. Wearables allow doctors to remotely monitor patients while they go about their everyday routines. This has the potential to improve treatment as doctors will be able to recognise patterns in a patient’s health.

It was only a matter of time before mobile and wearables infiltrated the health care sector. They offer a promising future as large tech companies are investing heavily in health sensors for their mobile and wearable products.

Temperature

This article was written by Katherine Hall, Mobile Executive at Fetch