Page 33 - 2014-sept-oct

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Healthcare Journal of little rock
I 
SEPT / OCT 2014
33
connecting with Dr. Eudice Fontenot, a pro-
fessional in PFO repair atArkansas Children’s
Hospital. Via live streaming, Dr. Fontenot was
able to provide real time recommendations
for Dr. Assad-Kottner during the procedure.
As a result, the operation combined physi-
cal clinical skills from within the hos-
pital with the guidance of another
medical professional located out-
side of the procedure room.
To improve graduate medi-
cal education and the ability
of fellows and residents to
learn and practice diagnos-
tic and treatment techniques,
researchers at University of
Arkansas devised methods for
using Google Glass as well. These
researchers employed the device’s
various functions to connect trainees with
supervisors who could walk them through
procedures, review patient documents, and
observe the trainees’ interactions with the
patients via live video and audio transmis-
sions between the two parties. The study
proved the effectiveness of wearable tech-
nology and its ability to aid fellows and resi-
dents in the learning process.
“Most of the complex and sick patients
receive care in the tertiary hospitals which
are mainly driven by residents and fellows,”
study researcher Shiv K.Agarwal says. “[Resi-
dents and fellows] need proper guidance and
proctoring especially in their early formative
years, and this technologywill make it easier.”
Another researcher for the study, Srikanth
Vallurupalli, recognizes the potential ben-
efits and issues of wearable technology in
healthcare.
“Wearable technology has tremendous
potential in making telemedicine more
affordable and available,” says Vallurupalli.
“The most significant challenge is protecting
patient privacy. Makers of wearable hard-
ware and software should concentrate on
data security to make inroads into health-
care. A ‘walled off ecosystem’ will have a
greater chance of making hospitals adopt
wearable technology.”
While the security of patient data will be
a hurdle for wearable technology research-
ers and developers to overcome, the possi-
bilities that the healthcare industry faces in
the wake of these devices and software are
exciting for both benefactors and producers
of wearable technology.
Himakara Pieris is founder and CEO of
myMD, an app that connects patients and
doctors via a patient’s mobile phone and
third party wearable devices that allow both
parties to proactivelymanage patient health.
He also acknowledges the significant impact
that wearable technology will have on the
present and future of healthcare.
“Wearable technology is going to play a
critical role in early diagnosis and preven-
tion, reducing the need for secondary and
tertiary care,” Pieris says. “I think it is in the
best interest of all stakeholders, includ-
ing patients, physicians, and insurers, to
embrace wearable technology in healthcare.”
As Little Rock and the rest of the medical
world more fully embrace wearable tech-
nologies, healthcare will likely see dramatic
changes in the day-to-day monitoring and
care of patients and their interactions with
their healthcare providers.
n
Himakara Pieris
— Srikanth Vallurupalli