Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Digital health: my osteopath is tracking his defibrillator online

Somehow I managed to get a rib in my upper back slightly out of place last week, leaving me with something varying from a twinge in the shoulder during the day to stabby pain in my chest when breathing at night. My lovely osteopath crunched me back into shape this afternoon (thumpy manipulations on the thoracic ribs, two twist my head off manipulations putting movement through four different cervical vertebrae and some gentler than usual lumbar manipulations to fix the 1/8th" difference in leg length as my hip joint was just starting to slip). He also put my clothes on the Aga to dry during the session as I got utterly soaked when the heavens opened halfway there.

He has a spiffy massage table that can not only do traction while he uses a TENS machine to work the spasm out of the muscles around my shoulder but also takes much of the impact of the thumpy manipulations, which means I don't have the breath squashed out of me so much and he can get much more done in one session because he doesn't have to work so hard. I'm extra glad of that because he had such a bad heart attack last year he had a defibrillator implanted and I've been seeing his locum since then. He's been doing a lot of exercise to get into shape and we were chatting about the heart rate monitor chest strap he had on last time I saw him, so I was showing him my Fitbit and telling him about the various tracking devices I'd been writing about.

It turns out his defibrillator phones home; he had to agree to have his data aggregated for research and in return every week he plugs in the upload unit to the phone line and it posts readings to the server in Brussels, which contacts the team at Hammersmith hospital if the data shows any issues. He still has an annual checkup on the defibrillator but this will catch something that could otherwise be unknown for months. Very cool to see personal medical tracking is actually happening ;-)
Tags: data mining, ehealth, health, self quantification, tracking

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