The consumer electronics show, or CES, is one of the biggest trade shows in the world. For the public, it’s a fun road map for what upcoming consumer technologies are in development. While most of the spotlight at CES is on retail, recreational items, such as TVs and phones, there is another side to CES , digital.
For the 2018 CES, the Consumer Technology Association held an informative podcast with key figures in health tech to discuss what the public could expect, and the answers were quite enlightening.
Devices Controlled By Phone
The virtual hospital is a concept that transfers medical treatment to the home for qualified patients. One of the components that makes this feasible is gathering patients medical data without requiring a visit to the hospital. Health tech has already made great strides in this area, miniaturizing professional grade devices, and making them portable. But now, general consumer devices including smartphones, smartwatches, and mobile apps are being developed to also do this.
Now health tech is looking to take things a step further, by integrating medically derived data from these devices and allowing the devices to control higher level medical technology. Pain management systems, for example, may soon be accessible via an app through a person’s phone!
One of the most surprising areas that virtual reality has been making strides in health tech is pain management. Patient-centric care is all about customizing treatments and recovery to the specific needs of an individual. Virtual reality, or the ability to immerse someone in an artificial world, wouldn’t seem like a useful tool in this area. But VR can be meditative, assist with breathing and stress management, and help to focus a patient’s awareness on other things. VR has surprised many with unorthodox applications, such as allowing women to undertake natural childbirth, rather than Caesarean section!
As VR evolves, it is also set to play a critical role in creating a “virtual hospital environment” within a person’s home, communicating with medical experts virtually, and even getting a better understanding of medical diagnoses and treatment methods by experiencing and interacting with concepts virtually.
With more advances in health tech such as VR, AI, and the Internet of Things, or IoT, the virtual hospital at home is becoming more feasible to operate, as a suite of new medical tech gives patients more control at home and as the medically home virtual hospital model continues to evolve.