June 29, 2012
The American Medical Association published a June 14 article about the booming expansion of mobile medical devices. The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it will allow wireless monitoring devices to transmit data on spectrum bands that were previously limited to use by the aerospace industry. Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs) that transmit vital signs will now be allowed access to this wireless spectrum. This allows physicians the freedom to have real-time updates on their patient’s conditions without actually being present at the hospital (or the patient’s home, in the case of home fetal telemetry devices). Mobile technology and new applications now allow for a patient’s stats to be viewed remotely on a physician’s smart phone or tablet. Physicians can obtain apps that can grant them the freedom to view the output of cardiac monitors, contraction and fetal monitors, ventilators, and other bedside monitors. For more information, check out the following AMA articles: “Everything in medicine is going mobile (HIMSS meeting)” and “Physicians could see more medical devices going mobile.”
In other news… On June 25, Medical News Today published an article on recent research related to the treatment of high-risk pregnant smokers that are drug dependent. While the dangers of cigarette smoking in pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, low birth weight, SIDS…) are significant and well-known, the treatment for women who are already drug dependent has proven challenging. The rates of cigarette smoking amongst drug dependent pregnant women remains exceedingly high (estimate 77 – 99%). Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Addiction and Pregnancy recently conducted a study that found that women that participate in contingency management programs (where participants receive escalating monetary incentives for not smoking) are significantly more likely to reduce their smoking levels than participants that engaged in non-contingent incentive programs or education-only programs. For more information on the study, check out the full Medical News Today article.