The digital innovation team at Providence is constantly tracking the latest health care tech to find ways to give you more control over where, when, and how you access services to help you live a healthy, active life.
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If convenience, control, and ease of use are not the first words you think of when describing your efforts and experiences in the health care arena, don’t give up hope. New products, or updated versions of old classics, are being introduced regularly. Many of them focus on making your life easier and your health care more convenient.
Take a closer look at three innovative ideas that offer solutions to some of the health care challenges you face.
Sensor-enabled contact lenses
Contact lenses that analyze your tears, take your temperature, and measure your blood alcohol content and then send the results to your phone or computer sound like something you’d find in a futuristic sci-fi movie. In reality, many innovations in advanced eyewear are currently under development and expected to be available in the not-too-distant future.
- Smart contact lenses combine wearable electronics and wireless capabilities to gather and transmit information about the person wearing them.
- An assortment of solar-powered photo detectors, electronic circuits, light sensors, and other technology—depending on the type of smart contact—are embedded in the lenses.
- Some versions include a camera and digital recorder that can literally capture images and video in the blink of an eye.
- Glaucoma and diabetes patients can use smart contact lenses to monitor symptoms and record biological data, like glucose levels, that can be used to direct their care.
In-home medical imaging services
Until recently, if you needed advanced medical imaging—like digital X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans—a major health care facility or lab was the only place those types of tests were offered.
In some areas, you can now get an X-ray from the comfort of your living room, and an MRI or CT scan is only as far away as the mobile unit parked outside.
In some areas, you can now get an X-ray from the comfort of your living room, and an MRI or CT scan is only as far away as the mobile unit parked outside. Developers say it may not be long before you can access the full gamut of imaging services without ever leaving your home.
- Portable X-rays take digital pictures and transmit them to your health care team wirelessly.
- In-home imaging can help you avoid the billing and payment issues that go hand-in-hand with insurance or Medicare if you are re-admitted within 30 days of hospitalization for a similar condition.
- Mobile units with the capability to do advanced heart testing—like echocardiography, electrocardiograms, and digital ultrasounds—bring the resources of a large health care system to people who would have no other way to access that level of care.
Refrigerators have come a long way from the days when the delivery man placed a big block of ice in your kitchen’s cooler and you kept your fingers crossed that everything inside stayed cold. The features may vary according to the model and brand, but today’s refrigerators offer a range of functions that would amaze and astound the inventors of yesteryear.
- Smart refrigerators typically use a touchscreen located on the door that’s connected to the Internet to provide access to all the appliance’s advanced functions.
- Some models interact with other smart devices in your home like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. Others let you use your smartphone of tablet to access the features you need, regardless of where you are.
- Functions include recipe look ups and grocery inventory, keeping track of expiration dates and notifications to warn you when your eggs are getting close to their end date. They can even tell you when the fridge door is open or display your family’s calendar for the week.
The digital innovation team at Providence stays informed on the advances in health care that improve your experience and help you participate more fully in your care. Find a doctor that understands and takes advantage of the most recent developments in technology and how they can enhance your life in our provider directory. Or use one of the regional directories below:
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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