Schools Training

The Rise of High-tech Health Care

25 MAR 2014

This week, the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences blog considers how the proliferation of digital tools is changing the landscape of traditional health care. Technology once reserved for entertainment is being repurposed for use inside the operating room, or to train student doctors and nurses. The post, The Rise of High-tech Health Care, examines a growing trend in wearable devices that closely monitor and quantify bodily function. They are part of a movement called Quantitative Self, which the author explains

involves using digital tech to track, chart and analyze personal habits and states of being. Diet, mood, bowel movements, sleep quality, exercise – they can all be easily reduced to pie-charts and excel files. The resultant abundance of personalized Big Data can help individuals take charge of and better understand their own health – and it could pave the way for more highly customized drug therapies. Drugmakers and students in pharmaceuticalcourses grasp that the more we understand the body, the closer we come to developing targeted treatments. QS can yield the kind of data that changes how drug companies do research, conduct trials and enhance pharmaceutical quality control.

In addition to examining the impact of QS, the post looks at another piece of popular wearable technology – Google Glass. The latest product from Google was not specifically designed with health care in mind, but doctors have begun using it in the operating room to live stream procedures for teaching purposes. The Glass is also used to pull up patient files, right before the surgeon’s eyes, in the midst of operations – thus eliminating the need to turn away from the patient and engage with secondary devices.