Nahum Gershon

Consumer Technology Meets Health Care

Nahum Gershon focuses on social media, the Internet of Things, strategic planning, visualization, combining creative expressions with technology and real-time information delivery, presentation & interaction (including storytelling) in mobile, wearable as well as traditional devices including how they could improve both organizational environments and our personal lives. He like to play with ideas, words, and real devices. Nahum Gershon has served in many capacities at the IEEE over the years, in, and is a Senior Principal Scientist at the MITRE Corporation. Nahum is a well-known community organizer, mentor, and communicator and is quite socially oriented. He has a significant international & multicultural background (citizen of the world, speaking a number of languages) and is right and left brain enabled. He enjoys life!

Consumer Technology Meets Health Care

Living in a remote place, Mike felt really bad this evening and he wished that he could see a doctor. But, it was not easy and practical for him to drive 3 hours to the nearest hospital. Luckily, he had a new device with which he could perform some basic measurements like heart rate, temperature, ear and throat check, and temperature. A physician at the hospital was seen on the screen of the small device and after looking at the results of the tests and talking with Mike, he sent recommendations for the patient. In 2 hours, Amazon delivered the prescribed medication at Mike’s doorsteps.

This illustration is not science fiction anymore.

Consumer technology has gone a long way since the days when devices were produced unchecked and were of questionable quality. There are now, for example, small and portable devices to measure blood pressure with a medical accuracy level that also measure the number of steps, sleep quality and reports on incoming calls.

A Looming Revolution in Health Care

Such devices are expected to revolutionize health care as we know it through mobile health. Not just enabling patients in remote places to get the health care they need, but also enabling everybody to get some treatments at home without visiting the physician’s office. This could allow the early release of specific patients from the hospital when the treatment and rehabilitation could be done at home under the remote care of the physician or practitioner while the data is being captured and included in the patient’s medical records. This may also revolutionize the existing overall model of the interaction of patients with their physicians and other health care practitioners.

Some Challenges

There are some challenges, of course. For example, not all humans are alike and we would need to evaluate (e.g., on a psychological level) who from the patients will not respond well to this remote or often remote health care as compared to face-to-face treatment by the physician. Other challenges include understanding how to relate to a collection of sensors (as compared with one sensor) and relating to the body as a system and not just a point in space as some of the current devices do.

An Opportunity for Consumer Technology and Health Care
These developments could dramatically improve the delivery of services to the general public and to specific groups of patients and increase the magnitude and depth of the collaboration between the patients and their medical providers. This is an opportunity for the consumer technology community to increase the breadth and depth of our impact on health.