Calit2: Wireless health to drive preventative medicine

By Brian Dolan

Larry SmarrLarry Smarr, Institute Director at Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology) has big ideas for the digital transformation of healthcare over the next decade and he plans to leverage Calit2's resources to push the trend forward, according to a report from Xconomy. Smarr said he's pushing the digital transformation of healthcare along with similar transformations in energy, the environment and "our culture" itself.

Like many thought leaders in the healthcare industry, Smarr sees healthcare moving toward a prevention and wellness model that is beginning to rely on wireless health technologies. He points to today's most advanced cars to illustrate his vision for connected health:

“I just bought a new car, a hybrid,” Smarr told Xconomy. “It has 30 computers in it. It probably has another 60 or 70 sensors, actuators, and memory chips. So my car will easily run for a couple of hundred thousand miles with no problems. How is that possible? Because every important subsystem is being monitored. And it’s not just being monitored, because when you take it in for your 10,000-mile checkup, the memories are read out, and the spark plugs, brakes, fuel injection, and pollution controls are checked against the population of cars that are the same make as yours. As long as you’re still in the bell curve of performance, then you don’t spend any money. And if there is the beginning of a deviation from normality, you catch it so early, so that it’s just the removal or replacement of a small piece. And then you’re back to perfect health. Until you are able to monitor your processes and compare against population numbers, though, you really can’t do a scientific job of preventative medicine."

For more from Smarr: Be sure to check out Bruce Bigelow's article over at Xconomy