Monday, November 22, 2010

MDMouse puts BP Readings at your Fingertips... Literally

It's a common problem for many people.  We're told by our physicians to keep an eye on our blood pressure.  The problem becomes finding the time in the first place or even remembering to do it.  Wouldn't it be easier if the whole process was just right there in front of you all the time?
Well now it is.  CalHealth, Inc has developed the MDMouse System that incorporates a blood pressure monitor & a computer mouse.  Here are all the details:

he MDMouse system is the first suite of tools being developed by CalHealth.  These tools are the combination of pre-existing medical devices into conventional computer control mice, creating devices that are easier to use and more efficacious than stand-alone units.

The principal advantages incorporated into the devices will lead to an overall increase in compliance from patients, which in turn, will lead to better data collection.  In addition, the process of borrowing computational power from the computer should also lead to improved results of any test or measurement taken with the device.

The first tool is designed to measure blood pressure outside of the medical environment, and to provide that information for use by the individual, clinical evaluation companies (CROs), healthcare providers and healthcare payers.  It consists of an innovative mouse device which includes a blood pressure monitor and an application software package that resides on a PC where the blood pressure readings are displayed.  The software application for the MDMouse system will display the blood pressure readings to the user and it will also provide a means to maintain records and allow the user to access past readings at any time.  In addition, the software will allow the user to direct his/her records to a third party, such as a physician or insurance company, or in the event of use for clinical studies, the data can go directly to the study sponsor.  Other features of the system include the ability to set alarms reminding the user to take their blood pressure or medications and set appointments with the doctor.

The MDMouse system is easy to use and readily available to the patient.  In today's world, patients are in front of their computer regularly and will have the mouse in their hands where it is convenient to take a blood pressure reading without leaving their chair.  And, there is significantly greater accuracy in machine-to-machine communication, as used by the MDMouse system, than relying on patients to write down their readings and then consolidate them on a monthly basis.  The blood pressure readings go directly from the MDMouse system sensor to the computer for recording on the hard drive - there is no human interaction required and none allowed.  This information can be easily inserted into an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.  Once EHR systems are fully implemented in the U.S., it will be imperative that the all blood pressure monitors do what the MDMouse system already accomplishes...automatically move the data collected remotely into those EHR systems.

Inside a standard-sized computer mouse is a blood pressure finger cuff that is placed over the index finger to allow blood pressure measurement.  Additional components include a pneumatic pump to inflate and deflate the cuff and a pressure sensor to identify the pulse during cuff deflation, thus allowing for measurement of blood pressure by a standard method (the "oscillometric" method).  These components, and the electrical power source and processing capabilities of the computer to which the MDMouse hardware is attached, comprise a highly accurate "sphygmomanometer".  The PC, using the installed MDMouse software, along with the MDMouse device, will perform the calculations necessary to turn the digital data obtained by the sensor into useful information for display on the PC.

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