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07 May 2014
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Q. What impact will consumer health and vital sign monitors have on the delivery of healthcare?

A. The latest gadget for monitoring personal health is a smartphone case called Wello, produced by Azoi.com. It measures pulse rate, temperature, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and ECG. It does all this while the user holds the smartphone in its case. And by using an associated app, it provides a read-out and tracks measurements over time. And the cost: €145. It sounds like a really useful tool for healthcare professionals. But its target audience is the general public. So how soon before you can expect your patient, a tech savvy executive in a high-pressure, 'always on', career to pay you a visit because his iPhone says he has an intermittent tachycardia? And what is your plan of action?

Lots of raw data without filters leads to chaos. We are beginning to open up the feeds of raw data, but we have not yet defined the algorithms to identify signals from noise. It's going to be a bumpy ride for both doctors and patients.