As technology in the wireless age continues to bound forward, job roles between doctors and IT professionals are slowly becoming more similar. A woman was recently fitted with the first wireless pacemaker. The new pacemaker allows doctors to monitor the patient’s heart condition remotely, allowing the patient fewer visits to the doctor. At least once a day, the pacemaker will communicate with the server which will immediately notify the doctors if there are any changes in the patient’s condition. This type of remote technology could decrease the number of doctor visits a patient requires, potentially reducing healthcare costs and increasing the efficiency of healthcare.
Even for many of us not yet requiring pacemakers, the story begs many questions about the similarities between this and other mobile information tools at our fingertips today. What if I’m in a wireless dead zone? Can the pacemaker update my Facebook status? If I wanted to Twitter about my Arrhythmia, can it do that for me? Could this device, coupled with social networking, potentially be the start of a new norm for reporting personal emergencies? For instance, instead of dialing 911 when my grandmother takes a spill, I, along with the local fire department, will get a status update that she has fallen and can’t get up. Soon enough you will be able to go to the doctor/Geek Squad rep and have a “device” installed in your body that will keep you healthy, allow you to communicate with anyone, do your work for you and help you meet your significant other. Oh wait, there’s probably already an app for that.