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The Next Step in Medical Science: the Internet of ThingsApril 13, 2016

The Next Step in Medical Science: the Internet of Things

How One Company Plans to Keep You Healthy With a Smart Home Installation

Staying healthy can take up a lot of time. Regularly choosing the right foods and keeping track of which medicines you need are pressure-filled tasks. But as technology develops to simplify your lifestyle, it raises the question: why can’t staying healthy be easier? Well, if Pfizer has its way, your Delray Beach home will soon be utilizing the Internet of Things to keep your well-being in check.

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According to Forbes:
“To make this nebulous idea a reality, the pharmaceutical company is partnering with computer titan IBM to develop a system of sensors, mobile devices and machines that could deliver real-time, around-the-clock disease symptom monitoring of Parkinson’s patients to clinicians and researchers.”

The purpose of the new partnership between the pharmaceutical manufacturer and the computer giant is specifically to get a better understanding of how Parkinson’s disease affects and is affected by the daily lives of everyday people who suffer from it. Ultimately, they hope to use the information to refine methods of treating the disease and what types of medication may be most useful.

This, of course, raises significant questions about how smart technology, the Internet of Things and the world of medicine will collide in the future. If your home is capable of dosing out medicine, accessing past data and sending it via a remote monitoring system to appropriate medical professionals, will we soon be able to say goodbye to nursing homes and elderly care?

That may be the ultimate goal, but as of now the companies have yet to produce a prototype of a functioning system. However, according to Pfizer head of quantitative medicine Peter Bergethon, the plans are to devise a system that is “easy to use” and “non-invasive”. It will likely consist of wearable sensors that send valuable information about Parkinson’s in real-time for more efficient treatments.

However, it should be noted that these plans are still in the early stages of development and probably won’t be available until sometime in 2018.
In the meantime, there are a few options available for keeping track of your health using the devices you already own. With the iPhone Health app, you get a fully customizable record of what you eat, how much exercise you get and information on which medications can help with specific ailments.

Or, if you prefer wearable technology that automatically updates your stats, there’s the Fitbit. It can monitor your activity during a day and sync it with a number of other devices and apps to keep you moving and encourage you to make healthy choices.

Will the smart home of the future really transform the way we stay healthy? Only time will tell. If you want to find out which technologies you can install right now that will improve your lifestyle, contact us today.

Image via IBM Facebook