It’s that time of the year and like many of you, I recently received and email from my employer regarding the annual open enrollment benefits selection. Part of it includes having to select my medical plan for the coming year. New for this year was the option to enroll in something called TELADOC, a 24/7 access to U.S. board-certified doctors via phone and online video consultations. Other benefits besides the 24/7 access to a doctor includes, less cost, the convenience to speak to a doctor from wherever you are and the prospect of having your medical issue resolved 90% of the times. These doctors can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication, when necessary. Needless to say, I have already signed up for the service! I much rather prefer to sit in my p.j.s at home talking to a doctor when I’m sick than having to get dressed and go to a doctor’s office or hospital.
Most of us tend to associate technology in terms of consumer products. For example, if you were to ask the average person what the word “technology” means to them, they are probably going to say things like smart phones, laptops, tablets, or maybe game consoles. Their answers would probably include acronym words like Wi-Fi, 4G, USB, 4K, or words like portable, wireless and Bluetooth. But, seldom will you hear someone talk about technology in medical terms, or more precisely, portable medical devices.
You simply don’t hear much with regard to technology advances in portable medical equipment. But, to be fair this is pretty much the same with other fields like automotive, lighting, and industrial. The average person simply thinks of technology in terms of consumer products and not much more past that.
The reality is that technology has made great strides in the medical field, especially with regard to portable medical devices. Things like digital thermometers, blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, blood oxygen meters, pulse/heart rate monitors, oxygen concentrators and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are now all readily available from most pharmacies or local medical equipment suppliers.
In a recent article by Warren Miller titled Medical Devices Make a House Call, he states that “The next wave of portable medical devices deliver intelligent diagnostic and treatment options previously only found in the hospital or doctor’s office. These devices will be easy to use at home, or in the case of emergencies, in public buildings and offices even by untrained professionals. It won’t be long until the answer to the question, ‘Is there a doctor in the house?’ will always be ‘Yes.’ And the doctor will be you.”
With the price of medical treatment projected to continue to rise in the coming years, perhaps the thought of investing in some of the portable medical devices mentioned in combination with medical services similar to TELEDOC will start making sense and we can start taking advantage of available medical technology to not only help reduce our medical costs but also taking control of our health.
Rudy is a member of the Technical Content Marketing team at Mouser Electronics, bringing 35+ years of expertise in advanced electromechanical systems, robotics, pneumatics, vacuum systems, high voltage, semiconductor manufacturing, military hardware, and project management. As a technology subject matter expert, Rudy supports global marketing efforts through his extensive product knowledge and by creating and editing technical content for Mouser's website. Rudy has authored technical articles appearing in engineering websites and holds a BS in Technical Management and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Prior to Mouser, Rudy worked for National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.