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BioTECHnology - Sensors, Devices and Apps
Heart rate, blood pressure, caloric intake, and even personality can now be measured and monitored by smart phone applications on the go. Blogger and writer for Wired Magazine, Gary Wolf recently gave a talk at a TED conference (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) describing how people are using mobile apps to measure these life metrics via biometric and pressure sensors. He also stressed how the information gained from these measurements can aid in not only monitoring our health but also understanding and improving it.
Among the showcased devices was an asthma inhaler equipped with a GPS transceiver providing the user with the exact date and location of each instance of inhaler use. Wolf continued to impress that the information provided by this medical device provided the user with a more detailed picture of the environment that could trigger asthma attacks allowing him/her to better understand his/her condition and make more informed health decisions. Also featured were Apple iPod™ ear buds. Nothing new, until Wolf revealed that Apple recently filed patent applications for modifications on these ear buds that would allow them to monitor blood oxygenation, heart rate and body temperature of the wearer.
In the effort to improve health care, medical devices are certainly at the forefront of innovation. Programs at Keck Graduate Institute recognize the significance of this growing sector and strive to prepare its students to develop the synergies between health and technology as leaders of industry. Visit the KGI website for more information about the medical devices and diagnostics focus track.
View Wolf's talk below and visit his blog for more information on self-quantification.
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)