The opportunities for remotely monitoring the health of patients is growing. There is more publicity about heart monitors, etc and the daily updates to doctors offices for the quick review and easy adjustment of medication for patients. Business Week (Nov. 16) describes a patient who weighs himself and takes his blood pressure; daily the medical staff can review his status without extra trips to the office and make adjustments to his medication if necessary. The wisdom and economics of these systems will certainly become more prevalent as the acceptance rate by patients increases and the cost savings to the health care system is realized.

However, I have seen clients with the machines in their homes, still in the box. One lady, chair-bound for the most part, stares at this heavy scale in a 6 foot high cardboard shipping box. She knows that it represents a better way for her to stay in touch with the doctor and the durable equipment company delivered it on time…and still it sits in the box…so while the technology is arriving every day to help us all, the key is really in the implementation and followup.