December 16, 2010

Smart Hospital Beds in Our Future?

Can we have a smart hospital bed in our future? This may happen if hospital bed manufactures come on board with current technology.

John LaCourse may soon have his name on a lot of hospital beds. He is a professor and chair of the University of New Hampshire's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research may soon represent a leap forward in hospital patient care. He is presently negotiating with hospital bed manufacturers to add his programmed algorithm technology to make hospital beds “smart” computerized beds.

This research looks very promising and is on the fast track to becoming a reality. It will be useful for many applications including, blood pressure monitoring, prevention of bed sores, sleep apnea, and potentially many other applications.

The microprocessors will be incorporated in the bed and must be standardized as a plug-and-play so medical devices can share information and communicate with each other. This will provide patient information which will hopefully reduce care errors.

Read the article here for more information. This is something I am looking forward to seeing come to fruition. These could prove very useful, not only in hospitals, but also in nursing homes, hospice care, and even in home care. This may also have applications for continuous blood glucose monitoring and insulin pump use.

December 13, 2010


Before starting any exercise regimen be sure that you talk to your doctor and get his permission. Your doctor may have some advice that you would be wise to follow. And your doctor may want to do some tests that will help guide the advice s/he gives you particularly if you have any medical limitations.

Exercise is generally considered one of the keys to weight loss, managing blood glucose levels, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems. Many sites are touting the benefits of aerobic and resistance exercises. These are excellent for people without medical limitations.

What many people forget about is swimming. This is low impact and the water provides buoyancy for those with some medical restrictions. Your heart, your brain, and your entire body benefits from exercise. Once you have your doctors approval, select the type of exercise that fits you goals and abilities. Make sure that the exercise is something you enjoy as this will aid you in maintaining a regular routine.

Many people walk every day. Some lift two to five pound weights while in a wheelchair using their feet or hands, or use their arms to push the wheels around the block. Do what you are capable of doing on a daily or regular basis. With winter basically here, many people are fortunate enough to have indoor equipment and can and do use it.

Some cities have swimming pools that are available year round for swimming, whether they are city owned or in a YMCA or YWCA or other organization. Some will allow use for a fee and some require yearly memberships. Some hospitals have small rehabilitation pools that can be used for a fee. So check around and ask questions.

In many cities there are malls that allow walking and this is great if they are indoor areas and have good distances. In a few areas there are stores that will allow you to walk indoors during the winter. Most request that you ask permission and complete some paperwork for their protection and yours if you fall or have something like a hypo and cannot communicate yourself.

This just scratches the surface of what is available or can be done for exercise. Those with medical limitations are often capable of more than they realize and with proper instruction and desire are often to stretch their abilities. Those that have no medical limitations need to put forth more effort to exercise.