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The Doctor Is Out, but New Patient Monitoring and Robotics Technology Is In

By Scientific American

May 26, 2010

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A new generation of medical devices using wireless communications, sophisticated software and data center-driven "cloud" computing promises to deliver health care in ways previously limited to the confines of fancy hospital rooms.

These advances, ranging from edible sensors to cordless heart monitors to robotic arms that mirror a doctor's movements, presage sharp falls in cost just as consumers clamor for more affordable health care. Around-the-clock tracking through wireless sensors, advanced biochemistry and raw remote computing power to mine and match symptom data with likely causes could help doctors band together to make faster, more correct diagnoses, from wherever they are.

"These developments encapsulate the work of scientists and technologists across many disciplines," says Gordon Edge, an inventor and former chairman of the Cambridge University–MIT Institute Advisory Board. "It's the fruit of electronics, computing, basic chemistry and microbiology coming together."

From Scientific American
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