March 2017 - Techindia

Month: March 2017

Mobile Technology and it’s Significance During Emergencies

Six minutes or less without oxygen and the brain will start to die. Therefore, there is no other deadline as tight as those that professionals in emergency medicine have to deal with on a daily basis. With the limited scope of emergency facilities across the globe, many communities have become increasingly dependent on medicine’s dynamic shift towards mobility.

Quick Diagnostics:

The use of mobile devices can allow for instant, real-time communication with a doctor, helping patients and their families distinguish between emergency and non-emergency cases in an instant.

Patients need not travel long distances to receive crucial tests. They can simply go to a nearby telediagnostic clinic, which can give them instant access to a much-needed MRI, CT Scan or Ultrasound.

This is crucial as, in emergency situations, one’s survival often relies upon how fast the medical team zeroes in on the problem distinguishing between an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke, for instance, can be the single factor that saves a person’s life.

Internet-linked diagnostic tools can be linked to analytic software, which can distinguish deviations from normal in the blink of an eye. What’s more, in cases where automated analysis is not possible, a specialist can immediately begin work on the diagnosis. The patient need not wait for the specialist to wake up in the middle of the night and drive to the hospital for this. The doctor doesn’t even need to have a picture archiving or communication system at home. All she needs is internet and access to a mobile device.

Monitoring At-Risk Patients:

Emergency admissions are far more common in patients who have known health conditions. One advantage of this is that, often, there will be hidden signs of the problem long before the patient actually experiences symptoms.

Mobile diagnostic tools can now be used to detect heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and temperature at regular intervals, ensuring that any changes will not go unnoticed. As well, modern pacemakers and even glucose monitoring tests can now stream data live to the doctor’s own mobile device. Any arrhythmias or glycemic problems will therefore send her device into alert. The doctor can, therefore, estimate which patients are likely to have an adverse event, and recommend intervention or a diagnostic check well before an emergency.

Accidents Happen:

But even in those who do not have a history of chronic illness, accidents can be a problem. Mobile services tailored for such emergencies can help trained bystanders give first aid, as well as keep the incoming paramedics updated on the patients’ status before they arrive at the scene. Because they already have a detailed initial assessment, they can prepare for an immediate medical intervention shortly upon arrival.

This could significantly reduce the number of fatalities in workplaces that contain hazards or in places where road accidents are common.

Developing Tech:

The contributions of mobility to the health care system, at present, is just barely scratching the surface of all the possibilities. As physicians and programmers alike continue to refine and develop Internet of Things technology, fast and quality will become increasingly

How to Stay Away From Irregular Rhythm After Open Heart Surgery?

Irregular heart rhythm after open heart surgery is a common occurrence. However, post surgical atrial fibrillation mostly does not last longer than few hours or probably few days. But, if you experience atrial fibrillation once, you are much at risk in the future to experience atrial fibrillation as a chronic problem.

What happens with Atrial Fibrillation?

Sometimes, stress or medication can lead to rapid beating of the heart. While normal heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, pain, stress, medicines, trauma and inflammation can lead to irregular impulses in the heart, affecting the rate of contraction of the heart.

This situation is common post-surgery and is usually self-limiting. However, it is important to address the situation before it turns into a long-term illness.

Physical symptoms of atrial fibrillation include chest pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, breathlessness and excessive sweating.

Can you prevent Atrial Fibrillation?

There is no established method to prevent atrial fibrillation. However, it is possible to control certain other factors that may help in preventing atrial fibrillation. If you have any medical issue such as high blood pressure or a thyroid issue, discuss it with your doctor before going under the knife. If you have time before surgery, chart a routine with your doctor to strengthen your heart and improve your health. Eating healthy and exercising will go a long way in improving the condition of your heart and minimising post-surgical complications.

Your doctor will also suggest blood tests prior to surgery to identify issues such as high blood sugar, anaemia, electrolyte imbalance or high blood pressure and may prescribe medicines to get these under control.

Another major factor leading to atrial fibrillation is post-surgical stress and it is important to discuss pain management with your doctor to avoid pain and trauma after surgery.

How can you treat Atrial Fibrillation?

Ideally, the heart rhythm should correct on its own after some time. However, in certain cases, medical treatment may be required. There are two ways to treat atrial fibrillation – medication and cardioversion.

Depending on your health and situation, often doctors recommend blood thinners to prevent the formation of clots, an associated risk of atrial fibrillation. Other medications may also be prescribed but most of these medicines have side effects and are not effective in the long run.

Cardioversion is the other option where the physician applies mild electric current to regulate the cardiac rhythm.

What to focus on after heart surgery?

After the surgery, patients are mostly kept on a heart monitor so that their heart rhythm can be monitored constantly. The monitoring staff can immediately pick up any irregularities. Constant monitoring is important; as several patients may not be able to identify symptoms of atrial fibrillation immediately post surgery. A post-operative pain management plan as well as proper medication depending on the patient’s age, medical condition and type of surgery must also be discussed with the physician.

Patients must discuss the occurrence, identification and prevention of atrial fibrillation with their doctors before and after the surgery. Treatment may be required in certain cases. If ignored, the condition can lead to the formation of blood clots that can cause a stroke. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

Sleep Disorders: Lifestyle and Behavioral Treatments

Sleep disorders collectively refer to conditions that interfere with the normal sleep patterns of individuals on a regular basis. Sleep disorders are of various types and left untreated, can adversely affect the physical, mental and emotional health of the patient.

Sleep disorder treatment depends on the underlying cause but usually involves a combination of medical and behavioral treatments. In fact, lifestyle and behavioral treatments can alleviate the condition largely.

Lifestyle and behavioral treatments for sleep disorders include the following:

Cognitive Therapy – Cognitive therapy for insomnia aims to identify and treat thoughts and habits contributing to insomnia. This behavioral therapy involves educating patients about sleep so that the misconceptions regarding sleep can be busted. The therapists discuss sleep information with patients and help them dispel myths about sleeping that can alleviate the underlying cause of insomnia.

Stimulus Control (SC) – Stimulus control is a therapy that encourages the patient to associate their bedroom with only sleep and sex. The bedroom being associated with other stimulating factors can interfere with sleep. The therapist encourages the patients to go to bed at the same time every night and limit using the bed only for sleeping and sex.

Sleep Restriction Therapy (SRT) – SRT involves restricting the time you spend in bed by discouraging naps. The patient is asked to stay awake beyond bedtime and only allowed to hit the bed for sleeping. The aim is to minimize the idle time spent in bed. The therapy is especially effective because it helps the patient reconnect bed with sleep and not with lying awake.

Relaxation Training – Relaxation training, if practiced regularly, can help patients relax at night and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, muscle relaxation and deep breathing relieves anxiety and prepares the mind and body for sleep. Relaxation training is helpful for patients who find it difficult to fall asleep at night. It also includes techniques such as guided imagery and hypnotism.

Sleep HygieneSleep hygiene refers to the environment that is important for getting sleep. It also includes factors and habits that precede sleep. Patients are advised to maintain utmost sleep hygiene by limiting stimulating activities such as watching television, spending time on the computer or exposure to bright lights few hours before bedtime. The intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol must also be limited as these substances affect the quality of sleep. Patients must take up some relaxing activity before bedtime to break the connection between stress and sleep. Reading a light book, listening to calm music or taking a bath are all good practices to follow before falling asleep. Avoid using your mobile phone or iPad before falling asleep.

Sound sleep is important for the body to function properly. If you find yourself grappling with sleep issues, it is important to seek therapy to alleviate the issue. While the sleep disorder treatment may last long and make you feel frustrated at times, remember that the results will benefit you enormously in the long run.