Mobile medical technologies
The title of this article does not coincidentally sound “mobile medical technologies”, and not “mobile medical devices”. This material is devoted not only to medical devices, but also to technologies that do not have the status of “medical device” in the Russian Federation, but are intended for medical purposes. To date, it is mainly apps on mobile phones, smartwatches and fitness gadgets.
Perhaps a variety of mobile applications offer the widest range of information medical “services”. Today, each mobile phone owner can calculate the number of steps taken and enter information from his medical record into the built-in application. If we talk about Apple products, the iPhone together with Apple Watch and with the help of the Health app can monitor activity, breathing, workouts and pulse. The application will carefully collect, save, analyze information if necessary and transmit it to a large “cloud”, such as IBM Watson, with your permission. Soon the use of mobile apps is likely to become a routine practice for sharing medical data between the patient and a doctor.
If we talk about smart watches, then with their help you can very effectively monitor the sleep regimen, measure oxygen levels in the blood, measure the pulse, get ECG results, and track the results of training. In the cardiomonitoring part, the most talked about was the announcement of FDA registration of AliveCor Kardia EKG embedded in Apple’s smartwatch strap (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf18/K181823.pdf). The news has made a lot of buzz largely due to the fact that it is the first medical device to work with the popular brand’s watch, although, according to experts’ opinion, there was nothing fundamentally new in the device.
It should be noted that AliveCor has been producing similar monitors for several years in the form of a plate, pasted on the “back” of the mobile phone. Analogues of such monitors exist on the Russian market. For example, the cardiomonitor “Heart”, released by the Russian company “BIOSS” in 2016. The product performs the same functions and inserted into the audio jack of the phone. The product has the status of medical device in the Russian Federation (https://www.cardio.bioss.ru/docs/sertificate.pdf).
As for fitness gadgets, in addition to smartwatches and applications for mobile phones, for example, handheld nutritionists will soon become popular,. For example, the Lumen device analyzes breathing, selects the optimal diet and denotes missing elements in the body. The gadget detects the level of carbon dioxide released when exhaled, and allow to track the metabolic process — from calorie burning rates to getting energy from food. In other words, in a mobile app you can see how effective digestion is and how much calories are spent on burning carbohydrates or fats. Based on the results, Lumen forms recommendations on nutrition and recipes.
Another device of the future is the HiMirror smart mirror, which includes a camera that analyzes ten skin conditions and clearly denotes wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, irregularities, dilated pores and black dots. The “smart” mirror monitors the dynamics of changes and gives recommendations on care and suitable make-up. “Intelligent” beauty box contains data on more than 10,000 cosmetics. Using the camera, it’s possible to scan the barcodes on the products to find out their rating and evaluate their effectiveness.
Among the high-tech devices that are likely to be sold only after gaining the status of a “medical device” can be noted the following interesting developments:
- Digital tablets, which are a “swallowed” sensor and allow to take pictures of the gastrointestinal tract at high speed or to assess the regularity of intake drugs and the reaction of the body to them, and in case of deterioration of the patient’s condition – to receive these data in real time.
- Non-invasive glucose meter (developed by Cnoga Medical) allows to control sugar levels without the need for finger puncture for blood sampling. The device is like a pulse oximeter and uses a camera to measure sugar levels by observing the color of a patient’s finger changes.
- Bra Cycadia Health – a method of pre-medical diagnosis of breast cancer. Several special thermal sensors analyze body temperature and record the slightest changes, after which, with the help of special software, symptoms that indicate certain risks are detected. Classification takes place with the help of special algorithms based on neural networks. The device demonstrated accuracy of up to 87%, higher than mammography — 83%.