MOBILE DEVICES CREATING UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITIES IN HEALTH CARE
Mohawk is working with McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences to explore how remote monitoring devices can improve patient care in Ontario.
Powerful devices, ubiquitous online connectivity and mobile apps that link patients with practitioners are together transforming health care, and Mohawk College is at the forefront of the revolution.
“We walk around today with devices in our pockets that are more powerful than the computers that put the first man on the moon,” said Duane Bender, Mohawk’s director of digital health applied research and founder of innovation centre MEDIC.
“Mobile devices are personal and have a direct conduit to us, and therefore are a technology with an unprecedented opportunity to change human behaviour and improve health and wellness.”
Mobile phones have already been disruptive but wearable health devices, from activity trackers to smart T-shirts with heart monitors woven into the fabric, are just beginning to impact lives.
“We will continue to see advancements in connected devices and also in our ability to monitor patients remotely, allowing us to discharge patients from hospital earlier without increasing the risk to those patients, and continuing to provide care coverage when they need it most.”
MEDIC has conducted clinical trials, along with McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, to evaluate the remote monitoring of patients.
Bender believes we will also soon see wide-scale integration of apps and devices into traditional health programs in Canada, bringing the data directly into hospitals, doctors’ offices and other clinical settings. Around the world, artificial intelligence and machine learning could offer frontline health care in places with none.
“Canada and the world has a desperate need for digitally literate young innovators.”
In-demand skills include information modelling, electronics and networking, information security, logic and coding, data analysis, and user experience design.
“All of these concepts are explored in the MEDIC Lab, as well as our related programs at Mohawk College, such as our Computer Systems Technology – Software Development program and our Network Engineering and Security Analyst program.”