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Seen At 11: High-Tech Health Advances

Technology Reminds People To Take Prescriptions, Sends Info To Doctor

CBS New York (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There are smartphones and smart devices, but so-called smart pills and other high-tech advances could revolutionize the way your health is monitored.

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, smart pills allow your doctor can see exactly what’s happening inside your body from afar.

The high-tech health advance would let the patients identify the problem without being a doctor.

As Johnson explained, a smart pill user could conduct a physical exam and make a diagnosis.

The little gadget is one of the newest cutting-edge tools using wireless smart technology to revolutionize the health care industry.

“Putting sensors, smart technology into everyday objects that people have used for tens, hundreds of years,” Josh Stein with AdhereTech told Johnson.

The smart pill bottle, made by the New York-based company AdhereTech, uses cellphone technology to measure exactly how many pills are in the bottle at any time.

It glows blue to remind you it’s time to take your medication. If you forget, it turns red and sounds an alarm.

“I know if I have to take an antibiotic twice a day, I forget at least once. So for an older patient who may be taking multiple medications,” Dr. Joyce Fogel of Beth Israel Medical Center said. “It’s really a problem.”

If the alarm doesn’t get your attention, the company will send you a text message, call you on the phone and even reach out to a loved one or doctor to check on you.

“It’s really important that patients take their meds so we don’t want to take any chances,” said Stein.

Another new health invention from Proteus will actually enable a pill to literally communicate directly with your doctor.

A sensor the size of a grain of sand is embedded in a pill. Once swallowed, stomach acid powers the sensor, allowing it to measure the patient’s vital signs and then send them to a doctor.

The information is relayed through a disposable skin patch acting as a receiver. Ultimately, the doctor downloads it all on an app.

“I’m not a very high-tech person,” Ana Bergman, 94, said.

Still, she said she’s intrigued by all this new technology, especially a little wristband that will one day be all doctors need to monitor patients in the hospital.

“I think that  definitely can alleviate stress when older people get admitted to the hospital,” Dr. Fogel told Johnson. “They are likely to get more confused when they have more things attached to them.”

Hospitals are already using the ViSi wrist band, which measures everything from heart rate and blood pressure to breathing rate and oxygen levels.

Other medical bracelets, like FitBit, keep track of how active or inactive you are, how much you eat and even how well you sleep.

Sensors help the Scanadu Scout conduct a physical exam and make a diagnosis.

Some sophisticated smartphone apps with sensors are also able to track blood pressure, heart rate, sleep habits and more.

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