Microsoft is researching how gadgets like the company’s Xbox device, surface computers and accelerometers in cell phones could be used to improve health care, according to IDG News Service.
Some of the applications from Microsoft Research plug into existing Microsoft products like HealthVault, an online service for patients to track their own health records. An application called MyLife for Windows Mobile phones could help a user log blood pressure and weight, and monitor daily activities including exercise, walking and eating. Ongoing work on the application could allow it to help personal logs using built-in devices on a phone like its camera, accelerometer and microphone.
Microsoft researchers are looking at how the company’s Xbox 360 could be used in hospital rooms. Xbox units are currently favored in a project on how to feed information from electronic medical records onto in-room display screens for patients.
Researchers are also looking at how to automate the data transfer from complex records and choose or filter displayed information according to conditions such as whether the doctor or family members are in the room, which could be detected by sensors. Xbox units could be used for those purposes, to present other health information and to let patients play games or access certain Internet services, including through body gestures enabled by Microsoft’s Project Natal control system. In addition, the devices could be used to pull content like X-ray images from personal records, or other pictures from the Internet, and to save them for the patient to view later.