A once-a-year checkup doesn’t give your doctor the full picture of your health. “So often, we have this really small window of time with our patients. If we’re lucky, it’s 15 to 20 minutes,” says David G. Armstrong, DPM, PhD, a professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Throughout the rest of the year, your doctor still needs to make sure that you’re taking your medication, keeping your weight and blood pressure under control, and managing every other part of your health without actually seeing you. “So many of these things now can be very readily measured at home,” he says.
Some of the newer technologies go a step further. For example, there’s a smart bathmat that can sense areas of heat in your foot — a sign that a diabetes ulcer is starting to form. It can tell your doctor before that sore causes enough damage to require amputation. “Now we can identify these skin problems and stop them before they start, really inexpensively,” says Dr. Armstrong, director of the Center to Stream Healthcare in Place (C2SHiP). A pendant worn around your neck can predict when you’re about to fall, and alert both you and your doctor. “Instead of, ‘I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up,’ now it’s, ‘You’re about to fall, and you’re about to not be able to get up,'” Armstrong says. Source: Stephanie Watson, WebMD [5/27/21]