Remote Health Care: Body Parts make Phone Calls

If Telefónica (TEF) has its way, your knee will one day call your doctor. In partnership with Barcelona's Hospital de la Esperanza, Telefónica has developed a knee brace embedded with motion sensors that enable physicians to monitor patients' rehabilitation remotely after they've been discharged from the hospital. As they exercise, patients—and there are 200 testing the device right now—watch their movements simulated via a 3D avatar on a computer, which wirelessly sends the data to the doctor for view on a PC or cell phone. Telefónica aims to sell the brace to hospitals worldwide when trials are completed by next year.

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Last time I visited my rehab doctor he told me about a National Geographic article about bionic assistive devices; today I found this article in Business Week. Click through to read about even more amazing applications to look forward to. Really reminds me of Eric Dishman's video about home-centered health care. My doctor had an interesting reaction though: "What happens when you turn the wrong way in bed at 4:00 in the morning? Does an ambulance crew wake you up?"