the QuietCare from Care Innovations. This device makes use of the latest in
motion sensor technology to keep track of daily activity patterns of patients,
sending out alerts to caregivers in possible emergency situations.
The 2net Platform from Qualcomm Life ( www.qualcommlife.com) is
another such monitor. This wearable, cloud-based wireless monitor transmits
patient data to integral health hub systems.
Other popular implementations of telemonitoring are those designed for use
with smartphones. The COWIN ZAO from Sensaris ( www.sensaris.com) is
one such device. This cutting-edge biosensor monitor records vitals and other
important physical data. The ZAO is a highly compact and portable monitor
that uses WiFi to display data on smartphones, tablets, and other computers.
The design of the ZAO is an example of the direction in which successful telemonitoring devices are headed. Where traditionally, there was a need
for multiple devices to do separate things, the newer devices combine many
technologies into one. “By combining existing sensor technologies into a single,
all-in-one design, and mastering the latest web-based software technologies,
we have been able to create a low-cost, professional-grade solution that is very
simple to deploy and use. It is compatible with 90% of the mobile devices sold
today and addresses interoperability and security issues using the latest web
and mobile technologies,” says Michael Setton, CEO of Sensaris.
Designers of telemonitoring devices have held true to the original needs
of the users, which ultimately makes for a more convenient and user friendly
end product for the consumer. “It was very impor-
tant from a patient point of view to use familiar
devices that they already use in everyday life. In
general, we think that the whole design of the solu-
tion is the key for product acceptance—from the user
experience to the end-product design,” says Setton.
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The Future of Telemonitoring
There is no doubt that medical telemonitoring technology is on the rise. However, the telemonitoring
sector is not without its own significant challenges.
According to analysts at InMedica ( www.in-
medica.com), “There are several other hurdles to
overcome when implementing a telehealth program
and it is the challenge of the vendors to assist the
providers in overcoming these.”
Senior research analyst, Mickel Phung, of the
Imaging & Healthcare IT team at MRG (www.
mrg.net) says, “There is a need to shift patient
perception towards comfort with teleconference
style consultations. Patients still prefer in-person
visitations and direct contact with physicians,
which serve as a barrier to widespread adoption of
The challenge facing the telemonitoring industry is
an issue that faces designers of telemonitoring devices
in particular. Since the industry is so diverse and new,
true standards have yet to be set. With any technolo-
gy of this sort, the main issue of concern for consum-
ers and manufacturers alike is the issue of security and
privacy. There is also the question of how to bridge
the patient-doctor gap that lies at the root of what
telemonitoring strives to solve in the first place. How
does one create a product that serves the needs of
both the patient, as well as the medical professional,
while still upholding a standard of privacy and secu-
rity? This may be an ongoing issue in many industries,
but it becomes particularly important in home health
telemonitoring, since a greater amount of consultation
is happening long-distance. Perhaps one of the keys
to bridging this gap lies in creating devices that are
user-friendly, as well as through successfully educat-
ing those who implement new medical technologies.