Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Medical Devices Speak to You

Could your implanted medical device soon speak to you?


Two unlikely corporate partners, Ford Motor Company and Medtronic, are partnering on an interesting new "application" using continuous glucose monitors: a car that "speaks" to you:
The two companies announced Wednesday that they have developed an in-car prototype system that connects Ford’s Sync technology to a Medtronic glucose-monitoring device via Bluetooth—which then displays the driver’s glucose level on the car’s dashboard display. If a driver’s glucose level become too low, an alert sounds or a signal appears on the dashboard display.

Low blood sugar can cause confusion, clumsiness, dizziness, difficulty speaking, and a variety of other side effects that are potentially dangerous to drivers. Those side effects can typically be treated by eating or drinking glucose-rich foods or beverages.

The partnership between the two companies is part of a larger health and wellness initiative that Ford launched that is aimed at helping people with chronic illnesses or medical disorders—including diabetes, asthma, and allergies—manage their condition while on the go.
Very clever! A GPS system for your blood sugar!

Think of the possibilities...

A diabetic patient, equipped with their bluetooth-enabled continuous glucose meter sits behind the wheel and drives for about three miles when, quietly and non-obtrustively, a sultry voice behind the dashboard states:
"Prepare to turn unconscious... in... 0.2 miles..."
Or if a similar technology is developed for patients with implantable cardiac defibrillators:
"Pardon me for disturbing your tranquil drive, but your defibrillator has detected a rhythm disturbance and will begin therapy in approximately 400 ft.... 200 ft ... 50 ft....


Please proceed to your planned route..."
But best of all, once they perfect implantable drug delivery systems we might hear from the dashboard of our cars:
"If your erection lasts over four miles..."


Anonymous said...

Seems like a bit of medical technology we didn't need. Better they should develop a "Mother" voice to tell them to quit texting while driving. Now THAT would save some lives!

Anonymous said...

How about this scenario:
The cop that pulls you over scans your medical record for psychotropic drugs or a mental illness diagnosis before approaching your car.

Of course, this is all about public safety. Dr. Wes, please remember to query your patients about the possession of firearms and enter that into the medical record to get your 'bonus'.

Anonymous said...

Would George Orwell be impressed? Not Big Brother, but Big Doctor.