Mobile, wireless technologies help personalize care, change behavior

In "Spotlight" today, we mention Dr. Larry Nathanson's review of the iPad for emergency medicine. That puts FierceMobileHealthcare in the same company as The Economist. That publication is glowing over the iPad, too--but not for long.

"Dr. Nathanson's enthusiasm hints at the potential of wireless gadgets to improve healthcare, and to ensure more personalized treatment in particular. Pundits have long predicted that advances in genetics will usher in a golden age of individually tailored therapies. But in fact it is much lower-tech wireless devices and Internet-based health software that are precipitating the mass customization of healthcare, and creating entirely new business models in the process," The Economist reports in a feature story about the convergence of medicine, wireless technology and social networking.

"The hope is that nimble new technologies, from smartphones to EHRs to health-monitoring devices, will empower patients and doctors, and thus improve outcomes while cutting costs. The near ubiquity of mobile phones is the chief reason to think this optimistic scenario may come true," the story says.

As we often note, this phenomenon is not unique to rich nations. Technologies tested in places such as Rwanda and Peru are making their way to the U.S. and Europe. Here in America, Intel is working on smart medical devices like "magic carpets" that can predict and prevent patients from falling. And it's all in the name of personalizing treatments and effecting behavioral changes that can result in better health.

For more on how wireless technologies are personalizing healthcare:
- have a look at this Economist feature