Meridian Health, a not-for-profit group of hospitals in New Jersey, has teamed up with wireless technology firm Cypak to form a joint venture, called iMPak, which is focused on creating wireless health monitoring devices and services. iMPak aims to launch a number of reliable, low cost, easy to use solutions based on Near Field Communications (NFC), embedded sensors, and storage capabilities from Cypak for various health conditions, according to the companies.
The first offering from the JV is iMPak's Health Journal for Pain, a "portable, lightweight, digital, wirelessly-enabled diary that empowers patients to easily record their pain levels before and after their prescribed medication regimen, providing physicians with readily available, useful, patient information and reports," according to the companies. The device is made of cardboard but the companies are currently working on a credit card-sized plastic alternative version, too.
“Currently, physicians encourage their patients to keep a handwritten diary of their pain intensity and response to pain medication,” stated Sandra Elliott, director, Consumer Technology and Service Development at Meridian Health, in a company release. “It is often a cumbersome process for patients, and seldom provides physicians with actionable data about the patient’s response to their prescribed treatment.”
While the device currently works with A&D Medical's RFID reader, which connects to PCs through the USB port, Elliott told MobiHealthNews that iMPak intends to connect the device to newer Nokia phones that include NFC and RFID reader technology. Elliott believes that as more phones launch with NFC functionalities these will be the best readers for iMPak's wireless health devices and services.
“Pain is considered the fifth vital sign and is critical to overall health and well being,” continued Elliott. “It is one of the most common reasons people seek care from their physician. If we can help patients and physicians better manage pain through a device that helps collect meaningful and timely information, we will consider it a major achievement.”
For more on iMPak, check out this press release