Could Microsoft Patents open the door for modular mHealth devices?

Over 2 years ago I wrote an optimistic post on the modular mobile opportunity for medical device manufacturers. I’m surprised that so little has happened in this area but it’s great to see this patent application from Microsoft as I can imagine this would make for a much more attractive proposition to medical device manufacturers as they contemplate the regulatory challenges that present as we move toward the inevitable convergence to mobile.

Although the patent does mention modular medical sensor potential (eg. “surface thermometers”) it fails to mention the regulatory advantages that modular design could have and it’s obviously quite focused on the potential for additional/interchangeable batteries, data storage, solar panels, game controllers, wireless headsets and dual/projected display functionality, so I thought it might be helpful to update the illustration to help communicate what I think the mHealth modules might look like:

> Beltclip/Ripcord worn waterproof wireless SOS pendant featuring motion sensing/fall detection
> Point of care test strip & disposable lance casing + rechargeable wireless testing sensor
> Wireless intraocular tension and polarized light glucose monitor
> Smart wireless med adherence blister pack casing (with Child/Password slider lock)

Anyone else excited by the rapid innovation and regulatory processes that this would enable?

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