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Watch Like Device for At-Risk Patients 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the wrist-doctor dept.
DigitalDame writes "At-risk patients will soon have a little help from a device worn on the wrist that can measure vital signs including pulse rate, cardiac rhythm (ECG or EKG), and blood oxygen levels. It can either store the data and transmit it to a medical center at a later time or, in the case of an emergency, transmit the information in real time using the built-in cellular phone while sending an alarm to a caregiver."
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Watch Like Device for At-Risk Patients

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  • Nice (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TarryTops (888130)
    Let's hope that it'll save some lives.
    • Re:Nice (Score:3, Informative)

      by cluckshot (658931)

      This is the beginning of the export from control by the medical establishment of Pulse Oximetry. [medical-monitors.com] These devices have been for quite some time used in hospitals.

      Now if we could get extracted from the clutches of the US-FDA the control over such devices expecially the optical devices used for Blood Sugar Monitoring which are made in the USA and cannot be sold here but are used world wide.... *Yes I am an RN*

  • by mike2R (721965) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:25AM (#13345761)
    Read that as at risk patents?
  • Yes, but privacy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vidarlo (134906)

    I can see that this will be a nice help, but neverthless, I'm in doubt about units that do monitor people like this. Maybe people that ill should be in a hospital, not walking around in the streets? What is important is at least that people are knowing of what those devices do, and to their consequences.

    I also think it should be stated by law that doctors do not need to report any data gathered by this to police, except in case of warrant order. There's enough surveilance methods as-is.

    And most import

    • by pHatidic (163975) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:43AM (#13345817)
      Especially since it effectively calls the cops every time you look at porn.
    • by Vo0k (760020) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @04:29AM (#13345924) Journal
      Maybe people that ill should be in a hospital, not walking around in the streets?

      You're missing the point: Let them out from hospitals. What worth is your life if you're to spend the rest of it in the hospital bed? These people prefer to risk their lives and spend some of their time with the family, outdoors, just living, instead of being stuck in hospitals. This device lowers the risk they are willing to take anyway.
      I spent a month in hospital and I was going crazy from boredom. Now think of spending all your life there... A week outside is worth more than a year there.
      • Yeah! I agree, I do not know what will happen to me if I was obligued to be in a bed 24/7, you see, the only thing I could do is at most, to be in front of my notebook (with or without internet) reading slashdot and/or programming... I would lose all the marvelous things the nature has awaiting for me on the outside!

        Oh... wait... nevermind
    • by TopSpin (753) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @04:45AM (#13345962) Journal
      Maybe people that ill should be in a hospital, not walking around in the streets?

      The presumption being the patient is being denied sufficient attention? As someone with actual experience with real patients I can tell you that the reality is the patients would rather not spend years of their lives living out of a hospital due to some chronic condition. We have no end of drugs and therapy that enable people to continue living with serious conditions that would have killed them in the recent past. They live among you, one pill to the next, occasionally calling in EMTs to handle the more dramatic moments, and they want to spend no more time in a hospital than you.
    • Re:Yes, but privacy? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kfg (145172) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @05:16AM (#13346035)
      "Maybe people that ill should be in a hospital, not walking around in the streets?"

      I don't see myself wearing one of these things, but I could, by certain definitions, be considered "at risk."

      But I am not ill, per se. I do not even vaguely belong in a hospital. Think about people with severe allergies. Bee stings, peanuts, whatever. Perfectly healthy, but at high risk of going into anaphylactic shock. There are any number of other conditions which carry extreme risks, but which don't really count as illness and for which hospitalization would be a silly waste, both for them and for the hospital.

      They're risk conditions. A walking emergency if you like. A chronic condition, but with no acute symptoms requiring actual direct intervention.

      I do, on occasion, wear a data recording heart monitor wrist watch that works by radio telemetry, although it does not transmit to a remote location. I guess someone could aim a receiver at me to pick up the signals, but. . .

      I'm absolutely clueless as to what use this data would be to the police, and I'm one of "privacy freaks" around here.

      In any case, as this is medical data it is already privileged by law.

      KFG
      • The medical data, what your heart rate was, etc, is privileged information. Any GPS data about where are are at any given time isn't.

        Just as the police can't tap a lawyers phone to find out what a client is saying to them. But it is legal, with a warrent, for them to look at phone records to see what phone numbers/locations the calls were placed from.

    • I would suggest you arent too familar with the healthcare sector... A major law been enacted in the last two years that revolutionized how privacy issues are handled in the healthcare industry. The HIPPAA law [nih.gov] has created quite frankly an almost overwhelming weight of regulations regarding patient and information privacy issues that are difficult to wade through as a healthcare worker. Nonetheless, i assure you nothing like this would even be considered for practical use unless very stringent requirements
      • Uhhh, I'm fairly sure HIPPAA has been around for a lot longer then 2 years. I had to deal with it in one form or another 6-8 years ago.

        HIPPAA is only as good as the people who have the data, and the oversight that is administered. I know I had patient data on a CD in my apartment for 4 years with a complete patient data set from a hospital I was doing some data conversion work for. I forgot they gave me an eval copy to spec out a bid for it. I turned it in when I realized I still had it, but in theory

    • get over yourself (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This monitors blood O2, heart rate and rhthms with the goal of saving someones life if something goes wrong. Privacy doesn't come up here at all.
    • This sound like the type of item that someone who's very ill but wants to be at home needs. It's a lot cheaper to say have a team of doctors and nurse with cars then a hospital and having at home visits for people who can't aford a nuring home or are living with relatives at work all day could bring a lot of peace of mind. I doubt more then an idea number would be attached and is likly reprogramable. Tho home visiting sound pricly to those of you in the US who gov. refuses to give access to free health care
    • Re:Yes, but privacy? (Score:3, Informative)

      by drmike0099 (625308)
      The only thing doctors are required by law to report is information regarding abuse and violence in the home (domestic/spousal/child/elderly abuse). The rest already does require a warrant.
  • This would be great for protecting VIPs. You could integrate GPS too, so the health and location of the VIP (e.g. president) are known at all times. Heck, you could even monitor stress levels when they're negotiating with a foreign leader or something. Seems like this could also be integrated into those parole ankle braclets people where, i.e. no vital signs, prisoner tampered with braclet (or maybe is dying).
    • Yeppers. Boris Yeltsin (sp?) negotiating over cell phone with a rebel leader, while the military traces the call. The guy was blown out with a rocket that first was guided at the base station coordinates and then homed on the cell phone signal.
      Neat to have all VIPs under such surveilance :)
      • Boris Yeltsin (sp?)

        Hey, the correct spelling is " ".

        Jeez; why are the people here such sloppy spellers?

        (Actually, I had to look it up at wikipedia, because I didn't remember whether the '' was hard or soft. Hardly anyone ever gets this right in the English transliterations. ;-)

        Now to see if /. can actually handle simple UTF8 encodings. It looks fine on my screen, and cut-and-paste to several other browser windows here on my Mac PB seems to work ok. But there is still software lurking out there that can't
    • I could see this thing being used by someone to set off a bomb (or other weapon) in the event they are killed. Imagine putting something like this on a soldier in the battlefield with a high-yield explosive attacked to it. Instant suicide bombers without the need to be suicidal.

      Not only could this be used for weapons, it could also be used as a "clean up" trigger. Set up a computer to eliminate any incriminating evidence you might have or transfer laege sums of money to another location before it can be sei
      • Imagine putting something like this on a soldier in the battlefield with a high-yield explosive attacked to it.

        Great. Now all the enemy has to do is target one soldier, and they create a huge explosion as surrounding soliders die and their explosives go off.

        But for suicide bombers working alone it would be great, and would be trivial to build from off the shelf components [androv-medical.com] (complete with audible alarms that could trivially be co-opted as triggers - just to pick the first ad I saw when searching).

    • It would also be a great device for terrorists [blogspot.com] as I commented on my blog earlier with a much less sophisticated device. With this a terror cell could destroy themselves and their homes or other locations at the same time, reducing the chance that the police would have time to shut down the cell networks.
    • This would be great for protecting VIPs. You could integrate GPS too, so the health and location of the VIP (e.g. president) are known at all times.

      Would you really want to be sending a wireless signal announcing the location of your VIP (and his vitals to those who wants to crack your encryption) to anyone who wants to listen? Typically the DocWagon High-Threat Response teams are only alerted when the VIP manually triggers an alert, the bracelet is removed improperly, or your vitals drop and trigger an

    • Go back and watch "Escape from New York" again.

  • No need to enlarge (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:29AM (#13345778)
    Under the thumbnail picture there is an arrow pointing at the picture encouraging the reader to enlarge the photo. Maybe they ought to point an arrow back at the inventors and tell them to reduce the size of the device. It is enormous compared to any typical wearable wristwatch.

    For many years there have been watches that will track heartbeat. Runners and bicyclists have, for a long time, used these to their training advantage by tracking their physical exertion with these light, unobtrusive wristwatches. Granted, it didn't send realtime data to a server which was monitored by doctors, but it had its uses.

    I think that increasing the ability of doctors to have access to such vital information is a huge step forward if it means reducing the number of cumbersome machines surrounding the patient in the hospital. So, it would great to have patients fitted with these in the waiting room so that their metabolic status can be monitored over the course of several minutes rather than just the few seconds before the doctor sees them.

    Reduce the size and improve the styling, and you could have everyone who was concerned about their health wearing these. I'd do it, if I was so concerned.
    • Wha...? I thought people WANTED these things to be large so people could see it. Geeks are always proud of their latest bling.

      Plus, the added weight gives some extra exercise to those with heart problems.
    • Runners and bicyclists have, for a long time, used these to their training advantage by tracking their physical exertion with these light, unobtrusive wristwatches.

      As far as I am aware these watches use a separate sender unit attached to the wearers chest. So you have to include this in any comparison of size.

    • It is not _that_ large. Moreover it is not meant to be the most stylish watch yups want to show off, it is a monitoring device for (mostly older) people at higher risk. Taking into account it has a heart beat monitor and can measure oxygen levels, make phone calls with speakerphone, I would say they did a decent job. Don't think of it as a beefed up watch, think of it as a shrunken machine that goes ping.
    • I think it is probably large because it is a prototype. If they get a manufacturer to mass produce it, the Fab can do a lot to reduce size.

      Also, they probably have to hook into a users insurance because there might be liability claims since this deals with a persons health. The main limit to this device's adoption most definitely will be liability.
  • by putko (753330) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:30AM (#13345779) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised there wasn't something similar enough already -- it sounds essential.

    I find the pricing to be the most curious: "The price will vary, Atzmon says, according to service packages and insurance coverage."

    I can understand prices varying with costs. Buy why does the "insurance coverage" matter? Shouldn't the device cost whatever it costs, regardless of what insurance someone has?

    The last time I bought something at the store, they didn't say, "oh, hey -- how much insurance do you have -- I need to know that so that I can price the bag of cereal you got."

    Sounds like some in-your-face price discrimination.
    • Probably you don't just but a watch and that's it, buy you also pay a subscription to the medical staff in stand by for you, being trained to understand your watch is calling them. Maybe even depending on the guaranteed maximum time they need to get to your house etc...
      • Of course if you get different services, you pay a different price. I wasn't arguing about that at all.

        They say the price will depend on what sort of insurance you have.

        Whatever kind of insurance I have (or don't have) has no reasonable relationship to the price they'd charge for the device.

        If I got bought a tube of toothpaste (with delivery), where I live would matter (e.g. NYC vs Lagos, NIgeria). But how much my house is worth, how much insurance I have, how much money is in my wallet and the color of my
    • Perhaps they referring to the end cost to the user, and not the wholesale cost.

      LS
      • Dude, WTF does what insurance I have have to do with what price they charge me for something?

        If I have insurance, that's between me an my insurer, not me, the insurer and the watchmaker.

        Maybe my moms is my insurer, in the sense that she'll bail me out.

        It sucks if these watch makers want to charge me more/less just because my mommy is willing to back me up, and your mommy isn't able to, or Rodney Richpigge has gold-plated insurance, so they charge him an arm and a leg.


        • Dude, WTF does what insurance I have have to do with what price they charge me for something?

          If I have insurance, that's between me an my insurer, not me, the insurer and the watchmaker.


          Some plans will refund the entire cost, some only in part. End-result; different amount of money out-of-pocket to the end-user (since you'd have paid the insurance premiums anyway).

          Some plans (e.g. in the US: HMOs) don't refund your costs, but give you a certain level of healthcare; some of which will be fully covered, some
          • Yeah, I've bought insurance and read the booklet.

            Price Discrimination is illegal (in the US) according to the Robinson-Patman act. What Atzmon said sounded like price discrimination to me. Just read up on the Robinson-Patman act if you want more info.

            It seems others interpret what the guy said as, "the cost out of your pocket will depend on what insurance you've got," which is pretty silly. When press releases talk prices, it is normally to annouce what something will cost, not to declare that when it is ti
            • Before you flip out again, as the other posters have explained, it's not the manufacturerthat is affecting the price, so they aren't discriminating against anyone. Some insurance companies pay more or less for various medical treatments, affecting the price for the end user. If you have a better plan, you may pay less. If you have a terrible plan, you may pay the whole price. It's not the manufacturer...
    • I find the pricing to be the most curious: "The price will vary, Atzmon says, according to service packages and insurance coverage."



      Depending on the country you're, the price for medical services will depend quite heavily on the type of health insurance you have, so this isn't anything new.

    • I'm not positive, but I think whether you have insurance (and the quality of insurance) can affect the prices of certain things.

      For example, I think that people without insurance get charged more for prescriptions than those with insurance do (even taking into account the insurance payments). So, if I have insurance, the total cost of a particular drug might be $40, yet someone without insurance might pay more than that.

      It seems terribly unfair (and is unfair, IMO), but big insurance companies can negot

    • I can understand prices varying with costs. Buy why does the "insurance coverage" matter? Shouldn't the device cost whatever it costs, regardless of what insurance someone has?

      Should, but doesn't. If you have good insurance, doctors will always charge the maximum allowed. If you don't, often they will charge substantially less. The actual cost of the device (to the doctor) falls somewhere in between; the idea is that insured patients help subsidize the uninsured.

      Probably not all doctors do this,

    • If it fails and you have a heart attack that could have been avoided if it didn't fail, you'd want more than your money back for the watch. Perhaps they by default they give you say, $2000 in this situation, but if you pay for an extra insurance package, they pay more?

      Disclaimer: I haven't RTFA

    • I'm surprised there wasn't something similar enough already

      There was, and still is. An example [polarusa.com]. The only difference is that you don't need a separate cellphone.

      This article is just another slashvertisement.
    • Heh, welcome to the wonderful world of medical insurance.

      My wife went in for "medically necessary" surgery last fall. She wanted to choose a doctor that was renowned in the field, even though he wasn't in the preferred network for her insurance plan. It came down to the insurance would cover the hospital bills (hospital was in plan) but not the surgeon's fee. We decided to go ahead and pay the surgeon's fee out of pocket.

      When it came time to talk billing, the surgeon's office told us up front: the fee is $8
      • "When it came time to talk billing, the surgeon's office told us up front: the fee is $8k. Unless your insurance will be paying, then the fee is $11k. And oh, by the way, even if he were in network, the "reasonable" fee the insurance would pay was only $2k, tops, and we were responsible for the difference. So basically, by paying ourselves it was $8k, or by claiming insurance we'd have paid $9k!"

        I'm sure the issue here is the processing cost and lost future earnings to the hospital for billing an insurance
        • Doctors play a game with the insurance companies. The doctor bills as high as possible and the insurance pays as little as possible. Supposedly, doctors contract with the insurance carriers to accept a certain fee, but this amount can still vary. In theory, the insurance company could pay them $1 per visit, but they don't because the doctor wouldn't take their patients anymore if they did. Special arrangements, designed to make medical care cheaper, actually make it much more complex and expensive.
          • While i don't know that your comment follows from the parent post or my own, in few cases is it the actual physicians conspiring with insurance carriers. It's the facilities that employ those physicians that set the rates, not the physicians themselves.

            Physicians want to and make good money, don't get me wrong. And i'm not exactly sympathetic to their efforts when the believe they are being short changed. But health care provision is big business with substantial profits. While some physicians may be pa
    • I find the pricing to be the most curious: "The price will vary, Atzmon says, according to service packages and insurance coverage."

      You don't even know the half of it.

      I work at a dental office. Several of them in fact. We are forced to charge our patients different based on who their insurance carrier is.

      Just think on that a moment.

      We have 10k+ patients. And there are unique insurance plans for just about every family. Fortunately, there are only about 20 fee schedules we have to keep track of. However
    • It can go either way.

      Needed a doctor's visit for severe nausea. Some kind of food poisoning or something. My mom got it too. We both went to the doctor. Both got the same medication. Same doctor.

      Difference? She, with insurance, came to a total of $100. She only had to pay like $20, and insurance covered the other $80.

      Me, without insurance, had to pay $250. Same visit, same doctor, same medication.
  • slashdot? [slashdot.org]
  • by rooijan (746599) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:32AM (#13345789) Homepage
    So, I assume this device will be watching these patients vital signs?

    I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself...
  • Feature request (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrjb (547783) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:34AM (#13345794)
    It already has all these neat features in it including a clock (otherwise how would it measure pulse?). I wonder if this device also show the time of day on its display? That would free the wearer from needing to wear 2 'watches'. The built-in phone is kinda neat though... all we need now is a fully automated, bullet proof car to go with it.
  • Finally... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Maavin (598439)
    Damn, Mike, finally your damn watch stopped beeping, that was soo annoying...

    *cough* *wheeze*

    Um... Mike?!
  • Didn't we have a story about cell phones and permanent eye damage days ago? Can't help but wonder if there are potential risks with this kind of stuff.
  • Doctor, the sensors are going haywire. Send an ambulance!
  • It would be really cool if this thing adjusted the flow of time to match your heartbeat. That way, when you're relaxed, time goes by real slow and you can enjoy it. But when you're in a frenzy and your heart's going at 300 bpms, you move much faster relative to everyone else.

    Welcome to the Matrix.
  • technology to play nanny..

    Where I have I heard that before..

    I'm sure the result would be alright.
  • yeah, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maxpublic (450413) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:57AM (#13345847) Homepage
    ...does it change colors like a mood ring?

    Max
  • The article doesn't say if it tells time or not. I wonder if you have to wear that gigantic thing AND a watch.
  • by Vo0k (760020) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @03:59AM (#13345854) Journal
    I read this as watch like device at risk from patents. I thought some asshole patented wearing anything other than handwatch around your wrist. Seemed damn likely.

    Back to the subject: In Europe it should work. But in the US, with the cellular coverage you have there, in most cases it will just help confirming cause of death, because the base station will be just out of range. You guys NEED to do something with your cellular services. Coverage of whole country, just for cases like these is essential. In Europe, even in backwater countries of former eastern bloc, there's very few places "out of range" left and sometimes even in good coverage area new base stations are built, just to improve reliablity, quality, add redundancy in case of failure. In an average small town, field engineering options of your phone will detect 3-4 stations within usable range, 4 others with too weak signal to use. You can go by train and just watch switching the base stations. And the idea to install GPS in cellular phones to help locating them? Ridiculous! There are already services of "locate self", "locate friend" available, because by pinging 3 nearest stations and processing the distance readouts, the cell phone can be located with precision of some 20 meters. Now how useful would it be to locate the patient in emergency?
    • You guys NEED to do something with your cellular services.

      Since when did mobile phone coverage become a basic human right? What would you say about Africa? well yeah there is a food problem but first lets fix the mobile phone system

      I am in Australia where phone coverage is much worse than the USA. But the reason is just population density. More people, more money for infrastructure.

      Maybe the European designers of GSM should not have built in a maximum 35km range for each cell. That would help.

    • Since England is about the size of one of our medium to small states, it is hard to blanket every acre with a cell-phone tower.

      A warning transmission could be sent with "burst mode" from a watch like this anywhere in North America. I was knew this gentleman who was trying to patent a similar watch for boats. It used a range finder to sound an alarm if someone was too far from the receiver (overboard). The watch itself used a standard battery, but a capacitor could be charged to send a burst signal to satell
  • Did anyone else here get a terrible vision of that old Medic Alert commercial where the old lady says so dramatically, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"?

    Maybe that's just me.
  • This is all cool, but you know what would be really neat? If you had some device that you wore on your wrist that told you the time. More advanced applications could include the date.

    Now, something like that... I'd pay for.
    • some device that you wore on your wrist that told you the time. More advanced applications could include the date.

      Heh. I had a device like that several years ago.

      One day, during a spell of hot weather, I noticed that I'd developed a minor rash under it, so I didn't wear it for a couple of weeks, until the rash went away.

      Then I noticed that I hadn't missed that wrist display. It seems that in the places I hang out, it's nearly impossible to be out of sight of a time display. If I'm out walking in the wood
  • "...can measure vital signs including pulse rate, cardiac rhythm (ECG or EKG), and blood oxygen levels..."

    Yes, but can it tell time?

    Sorry... just HAD to...
  • Now and again we get a glimpse of what the future could become. I think this bulky watch is one of those glimpses.

    Imagine having all you vital signs monitored 24 hours a day. When there's a serious problem, your stats and GPS position are sent to the nearest A&E.
    We'd wonder how we ever lived without it.
  • I am guessing that the first edition of such
    devices are going to be prohibitively expensive.
    Yes, I have RTFA.
    Taking it a bit farther, I am guessing that,
    here in India, anyone who can afford that
    kind of a device will easily be able
    to afford to have a 24x7 nurse look after him.
    Guess what he's gonna choose?
  • WTH Similar Concept (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rac3r5 (804639)
    My final project in Uni (2yrs ago) was basically a watch like this. It was supposed to measure heart rate, body fat, blood sugar etc and store it in the EEPROM. This data would then be available for dl via a wireless link like blueTooth. And then ur doctor or u could check your data. I built/programmed most of the framework to interact with the sensors and store the data, and my partner wrote an app in Java which you could use to dl your data and plot/examine ur progress.

    Too bad we didn't have any business
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your business skills had nothing to do with it. Had your device simply measured blood sugar levels continuously and accurately (sensitivity and specificity), a multitude of companies would have been knocking on your door with money in hand.

      Just look, it took a company 10 years to get this one to the public... Just don't sweat, don't get cold, and don't rely on it. Oh ya, did I mention it causes irritation and needs 3 hours of prep time before it starts giving readings? And it's one of the best out there!
      htt [diabetesnet.com]
  • Privacy intrusion! Obviously not for me, I'm a geek. But for those lucky people out there that do have sex - I hope the doctors won't be giving them a call because their pulse rate suddenly went through the roof.

    Or, well, I could take up running to trick people I'm getting some every night.
  • Sounds like the CORA (?) device from Fountains of Paradise.
  • while sending an alarm to a caretaker.

    Could be useful that, for the *really* sick or if the device doesn't detect life signs anymore.
  • A very bad idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by nanoakron (234907) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @05:40AM (#13346093)
    As a trainee cardiothoracic surgeon, I see patients in both the Intensive Care Unit and in the High Dependency Unit at our hospital...and I can't tell you the number of times alarms go off needlessly for such things as minor ECG changes and decreasing blood oxygen saturations.

    Causes for alarms going off:
    Patient takes a deeper breath than normal
    Patient moves
    Patient strains on the toilet
    Patient has a shower
    Patient's sensor falls off
    Patient's fingers get cold

    And any other innumerable causes for spurious alarms.

    So how do we know if a patient is really sick? Simple - look at them!

    This is precisely what can't be done with one of these remote monitoring devices - I looked into setting up a remote ECG monitoring system myself about 5 years ago but I can guarantee no cardiologist will want to be woken at 3am for false alarms.

    So either this device will cost one hell or a lot to run (may even be cheaper to book yourself a room in hospital for the rest of your life) or have the alarms so insensitive that a lot of people die before this fails.

    -Nano.
  • "Crothers? Yeah, it's Hotchkins. Listen, old man Bumbles got access to his bank account again... I don't know how... yeah, they're going right off the charts again. I hope it's not that red-head again. She almost did him in that last time. What?... Hold on... no, the front gate is open... I don't know, gimme a second... Hold on, I can't tell from this monito-- wait, yeah. The dog's missing too. Better wire it up and get over there. Whoa! [multiple beeps, whistles, bangs, other Dr. Who sounds] Get a move o
  • If I had designd the thing. The phone in would leave one of the following messages.

    "Patient needs Food", "Patient is dying"

    Uh. if you don't get the joke, go pick up a copy of MAME or something.

    Many...many quarters.
  • This device could be amazing for training. It gives data normal HBM's can't measure, like oxygen levels. One could train much more effectively, and also monitor oneself during races or record attempts.

    Since sporting gear is a big market, it could bring the price of the device down to a few hundred dollars.

    Maybe the fastest man on earth [speedbikebgl.de] will have some troubles with actually looking on his watch during a race...
    • This device could be amazing for training. It gives data normal HBM's can't measure, like oxygen levels. One could train much more effectively, and also monitor oneself during races or record attempts.



      Not really. It's extremely hard to make your blood oxygen saturation drop below 95% or so due to the way the breathing reflex is wired in the brain. In a non-medical situation, the device would just show some number between 95% and 100%, which basically has zero significance.

      • I wouldn't be so sure about it. Combined with data from (variation in) heartbeat, it might give really significant info. It's really amazing what information about your health and condition those guys from Polar can get out of just an 150 euro HB monitor. Give'm more parameters, some athletes to test and enough time to research it, and they will show up with a device which can significantly improve the performance of a dedicated athlete. Remember, just one minute on a complete Tour de France or ten meters
  • This has the old "If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear/see it, did it make a sound?" written all over it.

    Who exactly would suit be filed against if in the event of a life threatening cardiac event, the cell network was too congested to let a call through.

    Why not just put a hat on the person with red and blue LED's that spell out "I'm screwed" in that event.
    • Who exactly would suit be filed against if in the event of a life threatening cardiac event, the cell network was too congested to let a call through.

      Heh, most people would wonder if it waterproof. Here on slashdot....

  • A smaller, lower-tech version of this watch could also be useful.

    I've got moderate asthma, and choosing the best prophylactic drug depends on knowing my overall trend over several weeks or months (i.e. at a checkup, a doctor can't know what's the best medicine for me or how I'm really doing, just by listening to my breathing at that moment).

    At least for me it's not that easy to keep track of trends like that, for example I forget if I was wheezing a little yesterday morning or how many times I took my rescu
  • I must admit when I first read this headline, I thought it said:

    Watch Like Device for At-Risk Patents

    My first thought was "You mean Microsoft can't patent the act of breathing? Maybe they'll try to patent this patent-watching device..."

    Big difference than the actual headline, so I thought I'd post.
  • Why not just mandate that every person in the US wear one? I mean, Health Care companies need to protect their assets too, right?.

    In fact, it would be great if it included the full biological and medical history of the wearer, and maybe even their credit history too.

    It might be more fashionable if we wear these on our ankles though, I mean these barbed-wire fences are probably going to snag the watch as we try to climb over them to get outside our borders anyway, right?

  • Man, I came up with this idea while in college, to bad, no one at the d*mn med school would listen to me, 5 years later, some other lame guy is going to get rich.
  • Prior art? See Aliens.

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