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Medicine's "social network" gathers patient info, seeks trends

Medicine's "social network" gathers patient info, seeks trends

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A new website encourages users to record medical data online in order to monitor health and analyze trends.

The uses for wireless technology in medicine have already proven to be vast. Implantable sensors monitor healing bones, iPhones check blood from below the skin and bionic eyes with wireless capabilities can even give sight to the blind. To make use of all the data generated by such devices, one doctor has developed a website that will identify care needs and trends for the benefit of physicians and patients alike.

On the final day of TEDMED2012, tech savvy USC cardiologist Leslie Saxon announced everyheartbeat.org, a website in which anyone can record medical data through a smartphone, reports Technology Review. Saxon hopes to create an online network of medical data so that users can understand their own health while doctors can identify and analyze health trends.

The site will start with heartbeats, which can be measured through implantable devices or, more commonly, a user’s own smartphone via add-on accessories. Eventually, Saxon hopes to expand the website to include other health measurements, including blood pressure and glucose levels.

"I’ve been thinking for awhile about how to realize the potential of continuous wireless communication as it relates to health," Saxon told Co.Exist. "I came up with this concept because we have some traction here—a relatively complete understanding of wearable sensors and implantable devices."

Saxon’s ultimate goal is to measure every heartbeat in the world. While that might not happen, the doctor hopes to use the data collected from the site to create self-awareness in patients and to enable doctors to draw conclusions from huge amounts of information.

The network should be up and running by the end of next year.

[via Technology Review]

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Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure