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Wearable health technology crossing health IT boundaries

Wearable health technology turns up in various guises in this HIT Squad podcast, including devices to treat pain and diabetes. The HIT Squad also looks at RSNA and radiology IT.

Quell is an FDA-approved, Class II medical device that characterizes the range of new use cases for wearable health technology.

SearchHealthIT news writer Kristen Lee brought back that report, among others, from the Connected Health Symposium 2015, which she and SearchHealthIT news and features writer Shaun Sutner -- both members of the HIT Squad -- recently attended in Boston.

"The device is actually customized to your unique needs. So there's an algorithm in it that will actually detect what therapy you need," Frank McGillin, senior vice president and general manager of consumer health for Quell's developer, NeuroMetrix Inc., based in Waltham, Mass., told Lee at the conference. "So we're delivering a systemic response in a way that's very discrete and individualized."

In this HIT Squad episode, the 12th episode of 2015, Lee discussed how Quell works, and noted the device was among many intriguing applications of wearable health technology showcased at Connected Health.

Another interesting new piece of wearable health technology that was featured at the conference was the eShirt, from Medical Design Solutions of Milpitas, Calif., Lee said during the podcast.

The "wireless, wearable health system," as its creators describe it, continuously monitors vital sign data such as heart and respiratory rate, respiratory effort, temperature, posture and activity.

We're delivering a systemic response in a way that's very discrete and individualized.
Frank McGillinsenior vice president and general manager of consumer health, NeuroMetrix Inc.

Sutner noted in the podcast -- as he also did in a previous blog entry about the symposium -- that the two-day event drew some large players from health IT and the larger tech business world, including Salesforce, the customer relationship management giant that is moving into the healthcare market with its Health Cloud system.

Sutner also looked ahead to the Radiological Society of North America's (RSNA) Annual Meeting, RSNA 2015. The huge annual gathering of radiologists, imaging experts, radiology IT and health informatics specialists is being held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4. in Chicago. RSNA participants (last year there were some 60,000-plus participants) typically are so enthusiastic about the latest high-tech hardware and advanced software imaging systems that the booths of large vendors, such as GE Healthcare, Philips and Hitachi, Ltd., can resemble the "mosh pits" at rock concerts, Sutner said.

Lee also talked about a new IBM Watson Health partnership with wearable health technology vendor Medtronic.

The joint project uses wearable devices and big data to attack chronic conditions, such as diabetes, by accurately predicting high blood sugar episodes three hours in advance, a Medtronic executive told Lee.

Next Steps

Wearable devices win big at International Consumer Electronics Show

Privacy of their health data a concern of wearable device users

Wearables are too costly for chronic disease patients, others in need

Wearable tech, telemedicine invading corporate wellness programs

This was last published in November 2015

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