Best Medical Technology to Improve the Health Care industry

Category: Medical technology

Why Cardiac Rehabilitation Really Matters in Mending Hearts?

Cardiovascular disease is still one of the major diseases that plague countries around the world. Nonetheless, many patients could take comfort in the fact that healthcare organizations around are very proactive in finding out and developing new ways to treat it. One of the most recommended long-term remedies by worldwide is cardiac rehabilitation.

Part of the reason why it’s so effective is that it focuses on being an extended treatment plan for patients. There is no magic pill when it comes to rejuvenating the heart, after all, and most of time, successful treatments requires not only the full commitment of the healthcare provider but the patient as well. This is especially true if you have already suffered from a major cardiovascular crisis (such as a heart attack) or are already showing symptoms of heart failure. Such cases require extensive, uninterrupted care that would guarantee the complete recovery of the patient.

Cardiac rehabilitation is driven by information as well, it realizes the indispensable role of knowledge of the nature of one’s heart condition. This way, the patient would always be able to stick to ways that would allow you to recover seamlessly and quickly from a high-risk heart ailment or procedure. The benefits of cardiac rehab are numerous, to say the least, making it a truly important treatment plan that a lot of heart disease patients should consider going into.

In the infographic we have provided below, you would get pretty much all the information you need regarding cardiac rehabilitation as a whole. It outlines with sure brevity all the pertinent answers to the questions you may have about the said treatment. By investing a few minutes of your time, you would surely be able to know more about cardiac rehab and know whether you are compatible with this kind of treatment.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

 


Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring Services that Greatly Mitigate Heart Disease Risk

Cardiac arrhythmia is a common heart disorder characterized by irregular rhythm or heartbeat. The two common conditions, Tachycardia and Bradycardia, refer to decreased and increased heart rhythm, respectively. Both the conditions can lead to severe complications and common symptoms include dizziness, unexplained spells of fainting, breathlessness, chest pain and palpitations. Cardiac rhythm monitoring services are used to observe, diagnose and manage cardiac arrhythmias in patients.

What is cardiac monitoring?

Cardiac event monitoring or cardiac arrhythmia service employs a heart monitor to observe your heart in order to discover any arrhythmia or any other heart condition that may be present. Thus, cardiac event monitoring services helps to constantly monitor the activity of your heart and determine your heart’s health at any point in time, greatly mitigating the risk of heart disease.

In order to reduce the expenses and cater to the increasing number of cardiovascular patients, remote cardiac monitoring provides a convenient way for patients to be observed for longer periods of time without staying in the hospital. Thus, many cardiac specialists choose to collaborate with a remote cardiac event monitoring service centre that constantly monitors the patients and reports the data, analyzed by trained staff, to the doctors. Your doctor can monitor this information to detect any abnormality or risk of heart disease. Two main benefits include cost effectiveness and event monitoring by trained staff that can recognize cases of arrhythmia even if the patient is unaware. Several different types of portable devices can be used for cardiac monitoring and cardiac arrhythmia service, including the following:

Holter Monitor – A Holter monitor is one of the most convenient and effective methods to continually monitor your heart’s activity. A small portable device, it can be easily worn underneath your clothes for as long as required without interfering with your routine activities. The monitor stores the data that can be evaluated when the patient returns the monitor at the doctor’s clinic after the prescribed time. The data can now be analyzed and interpreted to diagnose any abnormal heart condition or rhythm during the period.

Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) – MCT is ideal for patients suffering from frequent symptoms and can be employed for short-term cardiac monitoring for up to 30 days. Essentially, MCT employs a small portable device that continually records data. On detecting an anomaly, the device sends the data for the event to the monitoring centre where the data is interpreted by trained staff. This technique provides constant monitoring and immediately notifies the concerned doctor in case any abnormality is detected.

Event Recorder – Cardiac Event Recorders are recommended for patients with infrequent symptoms. The main purpose of the device is to record and store the heart rate and rhythm during an event. A cardiac event recorder works only when turned on by the patient.

Insertable Cardiac Monitor – An insertable cardiac monitor is very useful in cases of unexplained fainting. It is a tiny insertable device that continuously monitors and records heart rhythms automatically. Doctors, by observing your heart rhythm before, during or after a fainting spell, can identify whether the fainting is due to arrhythmia or some other cardiac problem.

Indeed, lifestyle changes and proper medication are important to mitigate heart disease. However, with great technology at hand, several cardiac event monitoring services can be employed to mitigate the risk of heart disease by identifying irregular cardiac activity in time. Your doctor can guide you to the right cardiac monitoring service for your condition.

The Crucial Role that Digital Technology Plays in Improving Sleep Study Scoring Services

Getting a good night’s sleep, from centuries, has been considered an essential part of wholesome well-being of an individual. Yet, an increasing number of people are facing difficulties in enjoying a long restful sleep owing to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Thankfully, sleep researchers and physicians have been making advancements in treating sleeping disorders, helping their patients live a long, healthy life. And the key to alleviating sleep disorders is sleep study scoring, a test that collects vital information such as nasal and oral airflow, heartbeat, eye movement, muscle movement and snoring, among other things, while the patient sleeps.

The Evolution of Sleep Study Scoring

Before the advent of digital technology, sleep study scoring was a ‘paper and pen’ game. Then, researchers or sleep physicians would manually track all essential information and write it on paper for later examination. The heap of papers with patients’ sleeping recording would then be mailed to a sleep technologist who would study, draw inferences and send his finding back to the patient / his doctor, via snail mail. Needless to say, it was a long process with a higher margin for error.

Today, thanks to the digital technology, all the necessary sleep data is automatically tracked and stored, and can easily be shared with the sleep technologist in a matter of seconds. Presently, patients with suspected sleep disorder can undergo Polysomnograph. Under Polysomnograph, patients visit a sleep centre where their sleeping patterns are studied in a lab environment. Although, digital technology has made it possible for sleep centres to record and share sleep data in a more accurate and faster manner, Polysomnograph tests are yet to fully optimize the boon of digital technology.

As sleep study centres face problems of scheduling, lack of health professionals and rising operational costs, outsourcing sleep study scoring is becoming immensely popular and successful. Outsourced agencies are now helping sleep centres perform off-site sleep studies, often from the home of the patient under HST (Home Sleep Test), a less detailed version of sleep study to test presence or exclusion of sleep apnea.

Outsourcing, together with digital technology, is shaping a brighter future for sleep study scoring. In coming years, wearable technology, AI and IoT will make it possible for patients to easily track their sleep patterns and automatically send the findings to their doctor / sleep technologist through intelligent mobile apps.

How Outsourcing Sleep Study Scoring Works?

Sleep study scoring services employ qualified techs who work with patients from remote locations to score their sleep data in facility approved conditions and protocols. The trained techs focus fully on collecting even the minutest of details and share the sleep data to the sleep technologist through a centralized system that allows all parties involved in the sleep study including the patient. Since the data is transferred via HIPPA compliant software and hardware, patients’ privacy is fully protected.

The Way Forward

With as many as 40 million people undiagnosed of sleep disorders in US alone, there is a huge requirement for qualified sleep study scoring professionals who could help sleep centres with a convenient and cost-effective alternative to sleep study scoring.

As more and more people around the globe are getting affected by the ill-effects of sleep disorders in their daily lives, there is a dire need for leveraging digital technology and offering a convenient and affordable sleep study scoring solution to patients from far corners of the world. Outsourcing sleep study scoring is just the right step in that direction.

Mobile Technology and it’s Significance During Emergencies

Six minutes or less without oxygen and the brain will start to die. Therefore, there is no other deadline as tight as those that professionals in emergency medicine have to deal with on a daily basis. With the limited scope of emergency facilities across the globe, many communities have become increasingly dependent on medicine’s dynamic shift towards mobility.

Quick Diagnostics:

The use of mobile devices can allow for instant, real-time communication with a doctor, helping patients and their families distinguish between emergency and non-emergency cases in an instant.

Patients need not travel long distances to receive crucial tests. They can simply go to a nearby telediagnostic clinic, which can give them instant access to a much-needed MRI, CT Scan or Ultrasound.

This is crucial as, in emergency situations, one’s survival often relies upon how fast the medical team zeroes in on the problem distinguishing between an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke, for instance, can be the single factor that saves a person’s life.

Internet-linked diagnostic tools can be linked to analytic software, which can distinguish deviations from normal in the blink of an eye. What’s more, in cases where automated analysis is not possible, a specialist can immediately begin work on the diagnosis. The patient need not wait for the specialist to wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the hospital for this. The doctor doesn’t even need to have a picture archiving or communication system at home. All she needs is internet and access to a mobile device.

Monitoring At-Risk Patients:

Emergency admissions are far more common in patients who have known health conditions. One advantage of this is that, often, there will be hidden signs of the problem long before the patient actually experiences symptoms.

Mobile diagnostic tools can now be used to detect heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and temperature at regular intervals, ensuring that any changes will not go unnoticed. As well, modern pacemakers and even glucose monitoring tests can now stream data live to the doctor’s own mobile device. Any arrhythmias or glycemic problems will therefore send her device into alert. The doctor can, therefore, estimate which patients are likely to have an adverse event, and recommend intervention or a diagnostic check well before an emergency.

Accidents Happen:

But even in those who do not have a history of chronic illness, accidents can be a problem. Mobile services tailored for such emergencies can help trained bystanders give first aid, as well as keep the incoming paramedics updated on the patients’ status before they arrive at the scene. Because they already have a detailed initial assessment, they can prepare for an immediate medical intervention shortly upon arrival.

This could significantly reduce the number of fatalities in workplaces that contain hazards or in places where road accidents are common.

Developing Tech:

The contributions of mobility to the health care system, at present, is just barely scratching the surface of all the possibilities. As physicians and programmers alike continue to refine and develop Internet of Things technology, fast and quality will become increasingly

How to Stay Away From Irregular Rhythm After Open Heart Surgery?

Irregular heart rhythm after open heart surgery is a common occurrence. However, post surgical atrial fibrillation mostly does not last longer than few hours or probably few days. But, if you experience atrial fibrillation once, you are much at risk in the future to experience atrial fibrillation as a chronic problem.

What happens with Atrial Fibrillation?

Sometimes, stress or medication can lead to rapid beating of the heart. While normal heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, pain, stress, medicines, trauma and inflammation can lead to irregular impulses in the heart, affecting the rate of contraction of the heart.

This situation is common post-surgery and is usually self-limiting. However, it is important to address the situation before it turns into a long-term illness.

Physical symptoms of atrial fibrillation include chest pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, breathlessness and excessive sweating.

Can you prevent Atrial Fibrillation?

There is no established method to prevent atrial fibrillation. However, it is possible to control certain other factors that may help in preventing atrial fibrillation. If you have any medical issue such as high blood pressure or a thyroid issue, discuss it with your doctor before going under the knife. If you have time before surgery, chart a routine with your doctor to strengthen your heart and improve your health. Eating healthy and exercising will go a long way in improving the condition of your heart and minimising post-surgical complications.

Your doctor will also suggest blood tests prior to surgery to identify issues such as high blood sugar, anaemia, electrolyte imbalance or high blood pressure and may prescribe medicines to get these under control.

Another major factor leading to atrial fibrillation is post-surgical stress and it is important to discuss pain management with your doctor to avoid pain and trauma after surgery.

How can you treat Atrial Fibrillation?

Ideally, the heart rhythm should correct on its own after some time. However, in certain cases, medical treatment may be required. There are two ways to treat atrial fibrillation – medication and cardioversion.

Depending on your health and situation, often doctors recommend blood thinners to prevent the formation of clots, an associated risk of atrial fibrillation. Other medications may also be prescribed but most of these medicines have side effects and are not effective in the long run.

Cardioversion is the other option where the physician applies mild electric current to regulate the cardiac rhythm.

What to focus on after heart surgery?

After the surgery, patients are mostly kept on a heart monitor so that their heart rhythm can be monitored constantly. The monitoring staff can immediately pick up any irregularities. Constant monitoring is important; as several patients may not be able to identify symptoms of atrial fibrillation immediately post surgery. A post-operative pain management plan as well as proper medication depending on the patient’s age, medical condition and type of surgery must also be discussed with the physician.

Patients must discuss the occurrence, identification and prevention of atrial fibrillation with their doctors before and after the surgery. Treatment may be required in certain cases. If ignored, the condition can lead to the formation of blood clots that can cause a stroke. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

Optical Heart Rate Monitoring: Everything You Need to Know

Are you into keeping fit and want to ensure you know your heart rate when you are in the thick of your workout exercising away at the gym? You may even be jogging on your normal every-day route or climbing up a mountain just for the sheer thrill of it. While you’re doing these things you want to keep track of how your heart is functioning? Solution: get yourself a heart rate monitor.

There are many types of heart rate monitors on the market, so which type of heart rate monitor should you buy? Let’s briefly check out Optical Heart Rate Monitoring (OHRM) and see what you should know about these.

A heart rate monitor is much more advanced as compared to a basic step counter that just counts the number of steps you take, accuracy may not be that crucial in this case. A OHRM device on the other hand, tells you how hard your heart works, when you are at rest or physically exerting yourself. You want to get very accurate results here.

How Does Optical Heart Rate Monitoring Work?
Have you heard of a method called photo plethysmography (PPG) to measure heart rate? Well! Most wearable ORHM devices use this method that shines light into our skin and measures the amount of light that our blood flow scatters when our heart rate and blood flow volume changes.

History of PPG:
Though PPG is more than 150 years old, it has been revolutionized in these modern times. In a dark room, people would hold their hand up to a candle to check blood flow and blood vessel structure. Two alternating LEDs were used in the first pulse oximeters in hospitals during the early 1980’s to measure blood oxygen and pulse rate. You still see these used in the finger or ear clip devices used in healthcare facilities, today.

Relevant developments within the last decade have concentrated on motion-tolerant PPG as motion and activity creates a lot of internal noise that needs to be eliminated from the equation to find the blood flow signal.

Relevant Technology:
The four technical components used by PPG to measure heart rate are:

  • Optical Emitter – this is a component that emits light into our skin using a couple of LED’s.
  • Digital Signal Processor (DSP) – this component captures the refracted light from the device user and translates those signals into data reflecting heart rates.
  • Accelerometer – this measures motion and combined with the DSP signal is input into motion-tolerant PPG algorithms.
  • Algorithms – the algorithms process the DSP and accelerometer signals into data that quantifies heart rate, calories burned, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.

Metrics:

Once you get the motion tolerant PPG reading right, then some of the biometrics you can derive are:

  • Breathing rate
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Heart rate variability
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac efficiency
  • VO2 Max (maximum volume of oxygen)

Various Forms of OHRM Devices:
Today in the market you can easily find a variety of wearable OHRM devices of all shapes and sizes, including, but not limited to:

  • Wrist bands
  • Smart watches
  • Leg bands
  • Audio earbuds

Conclusion:
OHRM devices today are almost ubiquitous and every fitness minded individual has some form of OHRM device with them. Whether it is in your lifestyle for personal health or in active workout sessions in the gym, jogging up a mountain slope or running down a track, every person concerned with fitness tends to do optical heart rate monitoring in some form or the other.

Five Paradigm-Shift Cardiovascular Technologies to Watch in 2017

If you are suffering from an abnormal heart rhythm issue or AF (atrial fibrillation) and general heart failure (HF), take heart (pun intended!), as the latest innovations in implants for cardiovascular diseases are being created on the medical frontier, and they may shake up the world of patient care in cardiology. New materials and new technologies are contributing to a paradigm shift in cardiovascular technologies to watch for in 2017.

HeartMate 3:

One of the cardiovascular technologies to watch for is the Heartmate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD implant. It has already exceeded the 50,000 mark. More than a million HF patients are possible candidates for this device implant in the US alone.

This LVAD has the capacity to pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute. During a 2- year long trial, the HeartMate 3 showed a 92% rate of 6-month survival for HF patients.

HVAD Pump:

The HVAD leads the world in Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) that is implantable into patients. The HVAD Pump has been approved by the appropriate food and drug authorities in the European Union (2009), Australia (2011), and the USA (2012). To date, more than 11,000 final-stage HF patients have received a second chance at life because of this pump.

The pump facilitates complete assistance in ventricular blood circulation once it is implanted. Surgery is minimal invasion due to its smaller pump circuitry as compared to the competing implant rivals available. The pump design provides ample path for circulation, reducing the chance of an event of hemolysis anemia due to the premature breakdown of red blood cells in the patient.

Watchman:

AF is when a heart beats either too fast, too slow, or very irregularly and research has discovered that 20% of patients with AF suffer strokes. Warfarin, an anticoagulant is widely used to reduce the risk of blood clot formation that typically happens in the left atrial appendage (LAA).

Now patients have a choice to go off continuous warfarin intake, by undergoing a one-time medical implant procedure to implant the Watchman LAA device. This device has been implanted in more than 10,000 patients worldwide and has been approved for commercial use in more than 70 countries, today.

Parachute Implant:

Another of the cardiovascular technologies to watch out for that is still under investigation today.

For HF patients, the left ventricle keeps remodeling due to continued heart failure. This implant separates the damaged part of the left ventricle from the functioning part by compensating for the remodeling and as a result, the efficiency of the heart’s ability to pump blood improves.

Cardialen:

In AF patients, the Cardialen system restores the heart’s natural rhythm by constantly monitoring the heartbeat. If the pacemaker device detects an AF it emits electrical impulses of low-energy that the patient hardly feels, to correct the rhythm of the heartbeat.

The patient can switch the device on and off at will, without fear of it malfunctioning and the positive factor of this device is that it is implanted through a low-cost and minimally invasive process. One of the economic and revolutionary cardiovascular technologies to watch out for.

Conclusion:

The success of these cardiovascular technologies to watch out for and the 5 implant devices will be apparent when data from clinical outcomes are published. At this stage the data is still being collected but these advancements give cardiac doctors and patients something to look forward to for better care and control of heart problems.

Remote Care Management Infographic

One of the most exciting innovations in medical technology is remote care management. In essence, the tools it utilizes make it possible for patients to not only attain intensive care but also ensure that any possible complications would be promptly mitigated and addressed. As for how such advanced care is made possible, majority of it rests on the gadgets that have been developed for the said purpose.

From mobile devices that focus solely on healthcare to mobile apps that help patients and doctors alike keep track of vital signs, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that medical technology has, indeed, evolved and is still continuing to evolve greatly and rapidly with the passage of time. Majority of them focus on alleviating symptoms of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, as many of them allow users to track heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, blood sugar, and even act as a mobile ECG.

Every data that is gathered by such devices are normally stored in a cloud, for easy access by both the patient and physician. That being said, remote management is not only a benefit that should be optional. Instead, it should be considered as a necessity by most patients, especially those who are already suffering from serious diseases and require consistent observation of one’s vitals.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what remote care management is and the systematic processes involved in it, then don’t hesitate to read the rundown we’ve prepared for it which is in the form of an infographic. It should sufficiently provide you with all the preliminary information you may need.

remote care management

 

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Holter Monitor Interpretation and Its Advantages

Cardiac disease is one of the top causes of death worldwide, and what makes matters worse is that its conditions (like heart attacks, for instance) come without warning. It’s this very clandestineness and suddenness that accounts for the high rate of deaths that result from them. The only way to mitigate this is, of course, to have your heart checked regularly. Nonetheless, if your heart condition is already critical, you may want to consider what technology has to offer when it comes to daily heart monitoring.

The Holter monitor is one such device. It’s essentially a portable ECG with electrodes that you can conveniently attach to yourself any time of the day. It’s able to monitor any irregularities in your heart (e.g. abnormal heart rate, reduced blood flow to the heart, to name a few) consistently, which is undoubtedly the smarter route to take.

Always being in the know about the current state of your heart could really go a long way in preventing any untoward heart disease incidences in the future. Anything less than that could have consequences that you would only regret in the long run. A Holter monitor is pretty much an all-in-one tool that you can use to attain the peace of mind that you undoubtedly want.

Want to learn more about how the device works and how you can easily interpret its readings? Then do take the time to read the infographic that follows. It gives you a short yet thorough walkthrough about what you can expect from the machine. It also takes the liberty to provide you with tips and guidelines on how to seamlessly incorporate it into your daily activities, besides giving a few important pointers to remember that would help prevent heart beat irregularities. What’s certain is that with its help, you can take better control of your heart health.

Holter Monitor Interpretation

 

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Notable Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies in 2017

Timely detection and treatment of diseases is the key to saving millions of lives across the world. Often, chronic illnesses breed inside the human body without giving away noticeable symptoms, only to strike fatally without a warning.

Thankfully, RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) is making path-breaking technological advancements to address this concern.

While the concept of RPM is not new, recent leaps in various fields of technology such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and wearable technology are promising to make RPM more effective.

Listed below are few of the most significant RPM technologies to surface in 2017:

Collection of Patients’ Health Data

Wearable Technology: Wearable products such as the Apple Smartwatch and fitness bands are making remote health monitoring a convenient possibility. Smart, intelligent, and now relatively affordable, these wearable products are equipped to track heart rate, which is very crucial in determining patients’ health. There is a high possibility that in future, these wearables will come equipped with sensors that can track blood pressure, sugar levels, brain activity, etc.

Sensor Implants: Although still debated for the anticipated risks they carry, advanced sensor implants can contribute significantly to the field of RPM. Much more accurate and advanced than their wearable friends, advanced sensor implants will be a path-breaking RPM solution. However, technology experts and innovators need to find ways to make nano sensors that can be powered to last for many years, and are compatible with human tissues.

Storage & Analysis of Patients’ Health Data

Cloud Computing & Artificial Intelligence (AI): Wearables and sensors collect health data for each patient, 24/7! How difficult would it be for the doctors to store and analyse these data points and administer effective medical care?

The answer lies in cloud computing and AI. While cloud helps store heaps of data remotely, AI and Big Data analytics not only analyse these large data files, but can also highlight health issues – enabling doctors to make informed decisions.

Administering Medical Care

Drug delivery sensors: Sensor implants, in the future, can be preloaded with drugs that can be delivered to target area(s) in the body by a doctor sitting in a remote location. Alternatively, using IoT, all sensors can communicate, take a decision using AI (on the parameters fed by doctors), and administer the drug automatically.

The Next Generation Internet: The internet of tomorrow, 5-G, will play a stellar role in making everything discussed above possible. Fast and seamless internet connectivity will make the real contribution in monitoring, storing, analysing patients’ health, and administrating medical care in the year 2017.

These emerging RPM technologies can be conveniently adopted as they address all aspects of patient care; collection, storage, and analysis of data, machine learning solutions to highlight health issues, and solutions to remotely dispense medical administration. The new year is set to bring tangible advancement in RPM and health care in general; the challenge now is to make these new technologies affordable and sustainable. Well, Smartphones, powered by health monitoring sensors and data storage and analysis apps, may hold the key to this puzzle.