Articles, PSQH May 20, 2016

Why Things Matter

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

Compared to automobiles made just a few years ago, new ones provide an amazing driving experience. Expanding beyond the CD changer and iPod dongle, automobiles now integrate our smartphones and use voice recognition technology, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel.

In addition to this high-tech experience, automobiles contain electronic black boxes that collect data from numerous sensors implanted throughout the car. These devices monitor acceleration, speed, braking, engine performance, turning radius, and other parameters. Automobile manufacturers access the data in the black boxes when the cars return to the dealer for service and aggregate it to better understand how well their cars perform under real-world driving conditions.

Sensors provide the foundation for the Internet of Things (IoT) technology movement. The precipitous drop in the cost of manufacturing computer chips, and, in turn, sensors built upon those chips, allows the production of cheap, disposable devices.

Using sensors and other IoT devices to monitor and manage patients offers clinicians information that was previously unavailable. The traditional collection of patient data in an episodic manner—each time the patient visits the provider—pales in comparison to collecting patient data in any setting, at any time.

Excerpts from: Why Things Matter. PSQH, May/June, 2016

 

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