A look back at ‘Connected devices and their impact on tomorrow’s healthcare’

Last Thursday, on September 21, 2023, we had a packed house for our roundtable discussion on Connected devices and their impact on tomorrow’s healthcare. Let’s take a look back at the event and this topical issue.

Firstly, what are connected devices?

Connected devices, such as smartwatches, health sensors, fitness trackers and mobile health apps, have a significant impact on health in a variety of ways. Here are some of the main impacts of connected objects on health:

  • Personal health monitoring and tracking: Connected devices enable individuals to monitor their health and fitness in real time. Smartwatches, for example, can track heart rate, sleep quality, number of steps, calories burned, and so on. This encourages people to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take preventive measures.
  • Managing chronic disease: Patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, can use connected objects to monitor their health and share data with their physician. This enables more precise monitoring and proactive health management.
  • Preventing health problems: Fitness trackers and health apps can help identify potential risk factors. For example, by monitoring heart rate and sleep, it is possible to detect early signs of heart problems or sleep disorders.
  • Improved treatment adherence: Reminders and notifications generated by connected objects can help patients stick to their treatment plan, take their medication on time and follow medical recommendations.
  • Access to health information: Connected health apps give individuals easy access to medical information, health articles and advice. This can help people better understand their health and make informed decisions.
  • Telemedicine and remote monitoring: Connected devices facilitate telemedicine by enabling doctors to monitor patients remotely, collect medical data in real time and provide remote consultations. This can be particularly useful for people living in remote areas or with mobility problems.
  • Big data and medical research: Data collected by connected objects can be used for medical and epidemiological research. This can contribute to understanding diseases, identifying public health trends and developing new therapies.

However, it is important to note that the use of connected objects in healthcare also raises issues relating to data confidentiality, security and measurement accuracy. It is essential to ensure that users’ health data is adequately protected, and that devices are reliable and accurate to avoid errors in diagnosis or treatment.

At our roundtable discussion, Christophe Lecante from TKM Innovation began by giving us an overview of the current state of connected devices.

This was followed by a presentation from François Germain, Business Development Manager Healthcare at Linxens. A fine example of a world-leading company in the design and manufacturing of micro-connectors.  From an unmet need in healthcare,  François Germain responded by founding Linxens Healthcare and teamed up with international partners to develop connected devices such as a smart patch or stick-to-skin wearables.

Showcase of technological innovations supported by the TransMedTech Institute

Our mission is to be a hub of innovation in medical technologies with impact and added value for the benefit of people’s health and socio-economic development.

During the panel discussion, we had the opportunity to discover  the technological advances supported by the TransMedTech Institute. We presented a whole range of technological innovations that are revolutionizing medical care, the inclusion and ethical challenges raised by the use of health data, and the prospects of a future in which technology would make an undeniable contribution to improving our well-being.

The experts panel :

  • Nicolas Tremblay of NeuroServo, described their brainwave capture device and talked about their contribution to the VEEGilence project developed in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Nguyen at the CHUM. This device can record prefrontal early detection of delirium in adults as well as early detection of pediatric delirium manifestation which was tested in children at the CHUSJ Intensive Care Unit with Dr. Laurence Ducharme and Dr. Philippe Jouvet.
  • Sarah Lambert of ORA Medical with their LEVITY intelligent walker, an adapted walker revolutionizing home rehabilitation, a joint project with Prof. Laurent Ballaz of the CHUSJ.
  • Caroline Bazinet of ALEO VR, who is working on a new project for the Public Health Agency of Canada on concussion assessment with the help of virtual reality.
  • Louis Marceau of Modulate Technologies talked about the M-iBrace project, a collaborative, creative and interdisciplinary initiative in co-design with Prof. Carl-Éric Aubin of the CHUSJ that offers a new-generation and personalized orthosis focused on patient concerns and integration into the care pathway.
  • Sze Man Tse from CHUSJ talked about her MOKA (Mobile Health in Kids with Asthma) project, which has given rise to RespiSentinel, an application for the automatic detection of coughing in children with asthma; she is also working on setting up a connected game for respiratory physiotherapy care.
  • Finally, Jean-Sébastien Fortin of Paperplane Therapeutics presented their virtual reality gaming solution for pain relief, a project carried out in collaboration with Prof. Sylvie LeMay of the CHUSJ.

In conclusion, the Baüne team presented their project on the hospital of the future, Health Beyond Initiative, which aims to bring health in space for the benefits of astronauts, and to remote communities across Canada and around the world for benefits of all of us.

What is the future for connected devices?

Connected objects have the potential to improve health by enabling more thorough personal monitoring, more effective disease management and easier access to medical information, while making sure that their use be carefully supervised to ensure their effectiveness and safety.

The hospital of the future will be connected!

Source : Géraldine Dumesnil
Communication Services, Institut TransMedTech

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