It seems like everybody these days is trying to figure out ways to monitor patients’ vital signs and transmit them wirelessly to doctors and healthcare workers. While the concept isn’t new, this is the first time that a major telecom company has decided to make it part of their strategy.
Teliasonera AB, a Swedish based Nordic telecommunications operator, has announced that it will be launching a new service with partners Kiwok and Hewlett-Packard called BodyKom.
BodyKom is an open-interface (which we always like…) platform that will connect wireless sensors to patients’ bodies and monitor health status. The data is sent to a decision making program and if life threatining data is found, the results (inlcuding GPS location) are sent via secure mobile network to “the nearest healthcare unit”.
TeliaSonera aims to sell BodyKom mainly to hospitals, where a similar service is currently used to monitor heart rates. The service will be expanded to monitor diabetes, asthma and other diseases which may require timely intervention, the company said.
From Kiwok’s press release (.pdf):
“The main aims of mobile monitoring projects are to improve the quality of life enjoyed by patients outside the hospital and to improve the effectiveness of money spent on health care. By using new mobile communications technologies combined with central intelligence for handling care processes and patient data, HP and its partners can fulfil our dreams of tomorrow’s care methods and processes in a practical and secure way.” John Quak, Business Director EMEA, HP NonStop Enterprise Division.
“One of TeliaSonera’s strategic investment areas is the development of telemedicine over mobile networks. These services form a natural part of the company’s product strategy. We provide services which are easy to make available for both patients and health care units. TeliaSonera can guarantee the secure mobile transfer of patient data. We see BodyKom with its mobile monitoring opportunities as a natural part of our product selection.” Alf Johnson, TeliaSonera, Business Development.
I can envision the day when it’ll take me longer to put all my sensors on in the morning than it will to do my hair…I’m just hoping I can use rollover minutes when they send my EKG to the hospital.
(hat tip: AlwaysOn Network)
NOTE: We are pleased to announce that Dr. Bhavesh Patel of Chicago, IL has joined our editorial board. This is his first post. Welcome, Dr. Patel!