The digital technology putting patients back in control

Cuttsy+Cuttsy | 14 July 2016

With a plethora of new ways to monitor health, fitness and diet, people are becoming more aware of their own activity levels, eating habits and the effect they that these have on their health. This has coincided with a shift towards a preventative health attitude, with patients taking greater responsibility for their own wellbeing.

As well as these generic products targeted at the general population, a number of innovative products are being developed specifically for patients, and individual disease areas. To give a flavour for how these digital advances are putting patients back in control we have gathered together some recent examples that caught our eye.

Generic digital resources for patients

There are many examples of generic digital resources that have been produced for patients, with common examples including dosing apps and symptom trackers. However, more sophisticated devices that monitor vital stats and ongoing health are now coming to market and being received favourably. Examples include:

A web-based data-monitoring service prescribed by doctors to help their patients regain control of their health and understand how lifestyle factors can affect it. The service allows the patient’s healthcare team to set goals to help make a positive improvement to health and quality of life, and monitor their progress.1

Developed by the Indian company Azoi, the Kito+ is a sophisticated health tracker that doubles as a phone cover. Using inbuilt sensors, it can measure the user’s heart rate, take an ECG reading, and record blood oxygen level, skin temperature and respiratoryion rate.2 At the moment there is no information provided with the device to put these various readings into context, so, unless the user is fairly clued up on the different parameters, their readings serve only as a way of communicating their overall health to their healthcare team.

Disease specific digital resources for patients

Products for dedicated disease areas offer a more targeted service, unique to the challenges faced by patients as a result of their specific disease.

Manufactured by AliveCor, the Kardia is available as both a wrist band and phone case and is targeted at people with diagnosed or suspected heart conditions. Much like the Kito+ it enables users to capture an ECG, as well as track palpitations, shortness of breath, dietary habits, sleep and exercise patterns.3 It then offers instant ECG analysis and consultations with cardiologists to help users interpret their results.

A sensor that attaches to an asthma inhaler to help the user gain insights about their condition. It records when and where users have symptoms, helping them to spot trends, identify triggers and prevent future attacks. Propeller also helps users remember to take their medications, track their symptoms and connect with their healthcare team.4

FreeStyle Libre
A painless diabetes sensor in the form of a patch that is inserted under the user’s skin. Each patch can be worn for up to 14 days and enables blood glucose levels to be monitored without the need for needles. A hand-held recorder takes a reading from the sensor, even through clothes, enabling users to record their glucose levels and monitor trends.5

There is no doubt that digital technology is revolutionising healthcare and enabling patients to take greater responsibility over their fitness and wellbeing. At Cuttsy+Cuttsy we are committed to staying up to date and informed on the latest technology that is changing our industry, however, we don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake. We firmly believe that all new offerings should be backed up with accurate, accessible information that helps users interpret their findings and educates them on when they may need to seek help from a medical professional. If you’d like to find out about some of the innovative projects we’ve worked on and how we could help your brand, get in touch with the team!