With technological advancements, all types of items are being made smaller and faster. Medical equipment and supplies have become more portable and accessible to those who need them. This has a great impact on people and how they live their lives. Some examples of devices that have advanced over the years are below.
Oxygen equipment used to consist of only large tanks that required refilling. Tanks are somewhat portable, but a smaller cylinder would usually be needed for convenience. Extra tanks would then be necessary due to the capacity of each. Now there are small portable oxygen concentrators that are battery powered and can be carried nearly anywhere. This makes a big impact on the mobility of oxygen users.
Advances in EKG heart monitors have been drastic. Getting an EKG used to mean being hooked up to a machine using sticky pads on the chest and torso. Not anymore. For people with heart problems such as AF (atrial fibrillation), this couldn’t be better news. A small pocket-sized unit that works with a cell phone is now available. While placing fingers on the sensitive pads, a reading displays on the screen, and can then be sent electronically to a nurse or clinic.
CPAP machines for sleep apnea patients, used to be clunky and could take up the whole night table next to the bed. Today, CPAP users can find miniature versions just as powerful as larger models. Some models can be as small as your hand. They can record data, have Bluetooth capability to transmit the recordings, and can run as long as two nights before needing to be re-charged. Masks have also become better fitting and more user-friendly too.
Compression and Circulation Therapy
Compression devices that provide circulation assistance (for deep vein thrombosis or other conditions) have also seen enhancements over time. Before, large boots or cuffs had to be plugged in and didn’t allow for much movement during their use. But now, a tiny portable unit runs on batter power and it attaches directly to a thin sleeve and can be worn over clothing. These advancements let patients be much more mobile than before.
Kidney and Dialysis Machines
People with kidney impairments requiring dialysis have seen a big transition in portability. Dialysis used to require a visit to a hospital or clinic, making it difficult to manage a daily schedule. Today, a portable Home Kidney Dialysis Machine is available. This is a huge advancement allowing patients to perform the filtering process either at home or while traveling. Since some portable units have built-in connectivity, users have access to instructions and guidance.
Technology in healthcare equipment continues to change rapidly. As you can see, devices can allow the patient to speak to a doctor or nurse. Some equipment can also transmit the data to the clinician who can use this information to assess the patient and provide advice. A reduction in unnecessary doctor visits can help patients reduce their medical costs and save time also.