Real Time Communications Featured Article

How Real Time Communications Can Improve Your Health

May 07, 2015

In the communications world, we often think about what we need stay connected to family,  friends, colleagues and clients. We want this communication to be delivered in real-time and we want it to be available on the device of our choosing. But are we limiting ourselves by thinking about real-time communications only in this manner?

For instance, we’ve heard of the smart home or the smart car. The smart home can regulate temperatures, the use of appliances and the amount of energy consumed, communicating this information to utility companies and owners in real-time. Cars can do much of the same, communicating the necessary information to reduce the amount of gas used per mile, keep the vehicle on the road in bad weather or help road crews plow snow in Alaska.

External use for real-time communications makes sense, we’re accustomed to this approach and it doesn’t challenge conventional thinking. But staying in this zone doesn’t create opportunities for innovation and we need to step outside of traditional approaches to communication if we want to make the most of the new capabilities available. One way real-time communications is making an impact is in healthcare, allowing individuals to track health indicators as part of a healthier lifestyle.

via Shutterstock

According to Slow Control, a company specializing in the research of technological and innovative solutions to common health issues, seven out of 10 people are tracking at least one health indicator, such as blood pressure or weight through self-monitoring technology. By the end of this year, the company suggests that more than 500 million people will rely on mobile healthcare applications, providing benefits to users, clinics, hospitals and medical practitioners.

This connected technology relies on real-time communications to transfer information. This not only allows for real-time tracking for data capture and analysis, it also allows for an immediate response when something has gone wrong. To set the stage, Slow Control developed a connected fork and smart baby bottle to introduce self-monitoring technology at an early age. In doing so, the child user can grow into the informed consumer, making smart choices about his or her health.

The goal of such innovations is to leverage new advancements in technology to help create healthier lifestyles. Of course, to be effective consumers, have to be willing to be users, taking advantage of the information available to them in real-time and making the necessary changes to ensure better outcomes. Even better than the smart house, it’s really about a smart body.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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