Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Academic: Wireless sensors can easily measure caloric intake

Shankar Sastry, Dean of Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, was recently interviewed along with Senior Director of Manhattan Research, Monica Levy, by the California Healthcare Foundation's iHealthBeat. Both Sastry and Levy discuss the current state and the promise of wireless-enabled healthcare tools.
“The cell phone is perfect because it’s like a wrist watch you carry around, I think the idea of having access to electronic medical records is transformational in that it changes electronic medical records to be personal health records,” Sastry said. ”So I think that going forward there will be a huge consumer push to be able to both record and analyze data and the cell phones are gradually becoming not just a place for repository and also for analyzing data, but also as a distributive sensor network in the sense that the cell phone can interrogate other sensors which are attached to your body.”
“It’s reasonably easy for us to measure the [caloric] in-take — the out-take has always been way, way difficult, partly because we have such different metabolic rates,” Sastry said. “But I do think with the sensing though you do get a handle on those metabolic rates. So That I think is huge: To be able to then get sense of how much you are burning up in addition to how much you are taking in.”

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