All the comforts of a hospital without having to be in one.
The kind of care you get at a hospital can be invasive, lengthy, and usually comes with a high price tag. Sometimes patients don't even need to stay in a hospital after receiving a treatment, but do so anyway for the peace of mind -- and are shocked when the bill comes. Bioengineer Todd Coleman wants to change that.
In a new Ted Talk, Coleman, a UCSD bioengineering professor, poses a question: "Is there a way we could have the benefits of high-fidelity monitoring that we get with our trusted partners in the hospital while someone is at home living their daily life?" The answer is yes.
Coleman and his colleagues recently came up with an idea that could change the future of medical care. It's basically a super high-tech Band-Aid that measures vitals and transmits them to hospitals. But it's not just an idea -- the researchers actually created this device, and it's being tested right now. Coleman's electronic patches are already proving to be successful in monitoring the fetuses of pregnant women.
Of course, there are some challenges with nanotech like this: Coleman acknowledges that the patches use a high amount of data and may not be an option for people who live outside of major tech hubs. This kind of technology also grants unprecedented access to important personal information, and patients who use them need to be aware of the privacy risks they face. But Coleman has ideas on the next steps he plans to take. "This has been a long learning process for us," he elaborates. "This iterative process of breaking through and attacking one problem and not feeling totally comfortable, and identifying the next problem, has helped us go along this path of actually trying to not only innovate with this technology but make sure it can be used for people who perhaps need it the most."
We at Not Impossible think this idea gets our seal of approval.