These days, smartphones aren’t just for games, texts, and email. Smartphone apps are popping up every day that could literally save your life.
The greatest dramatic shifts in healthcare over the last 3 decades are happening right now. Patients have access to resources we could have never imagined right at their fingertips. Healthcare is merging with technology in a powerful way. Think back 10 years. Would you have ever imagined somebody could use a cell phone to do an ECG or detect your heart rate?
In honor of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month we’re highlighting 3 top technology changes for our hearts.
1. An App that Turns Your iPhone into a Heart Monitor
Dr. David Albert invented a device that clamps to an iPhone just like a case. It’s not just an ordinary case; it turns your phone into a heart monitor. The AliveCor case is FDA approved and costs only $199 in the US. The app you use with it is free. Today, doctors conduct 20M ECGs per year at $800 each. With just one app, we can bend the cost curve in healthcare and save millions of dollars. Technology is truly revolutionizing the way patients can receive care.
Today, the AliveCor app is only available for licensed medical professionals and prescribed patients in the US.
2. 3D Printers that Can Print Working Cells
Last summer, researchers successfully used 3D printers to print working blood vessels. This, now old process, was time-consuming. New technology, called Dynamic Optical Projection Stereolithography (DOPsL), can create blood vessels out of soft hydrogels in seconds.
For now, scientists will use this technology in the laboratory, growing and studying cells, but it could theoretically be used in the future to print biological tissue. Given the incredible shortage of organs needed for transplants, scientists may be able to “print” new organs with DOPsL.
3. Smartphone Apps that Detect Your Heart Rate
Azumio Inc. fine-tuned their Instant Heart Rate app to bring us the new Cardio Buddy app. It determines your heart rate from a distance by using the camera sensor within your phone. It’s touchless, painless, and effective. Did we mention it’s recommended by Dr. Oz?
For $1.99, you can have access to your heart rate anytime. Azumio says “Our complex algorithm, developed by Berkeley and Standford researchers, analyzes tiny color variations from different parts of your face to give you an accurate measurement.”
Understanding your heart rate could help you know if you are experiencing arrhythmias – a frequent precursor to a heart attack. You can then share this information with your physician to manage your health before a crisis occurs.
The Future of Technology Is NOW
I think it’s clear. Healthcare has merged with technology in a very personal way. Imagine what we’ll be able to do 5 years from now.
Disclaimer: We are not owned, affiliated, or advertising in any way for these organizations or products. We simply think they’re interesting and innovative and wanted to share.