Aging Parents and Children: Wireless Medical Information

A few weeks age I wrote about a my mother-in-law’s atrial fibrillation, especially how she grew increasingly helpless as she felt the unusual heart beats while her physician never heard them. Even after Mother wore a monitor at home for 48 hour the monitoring it wasn’t enough to detect the problem. Additional consistent investigation was needed, but her stroke occurred before any other steps were taken.

Today I listened to the most amazing TED lecture (TED MED, actually) by cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, formerly of the Cleveland Clinic and now at the Scripps Research Institute. He spoke about the potential for reliable monitoring of chronic medical conditions using medical monitoring tools that combine wireless and smartphone technology. According to Dr. Topol, this technology has the potential to help people and their physicians monitor health issues and identify problems before they evolve into more serious and more costly conditions. These tools would have been extremely helpful to my husband’s mother because the monitoring could have taken place over a much longer period of time.

The good news is that this technology is increasingly available right now.  Moreover, the technology is emerging so swiftly that it will begin to assist our aging parents in the next few years. And as their aging children(that’s us) become more and more competent with our smartphones, the advancing wireless technology will benefit us as well.

Below is the lecture which lasts about 17 minutes.