A new system from Microsoft Kinect -- a motion-sensing video game controller -- could help save up to $30 billion in U.S. health care costs by allowing physicians to interact with patients remotely, according to a study published in the International Journal of Electronic Finance, FierceHealthIT reports.
Benefits of Kinect System
The study found that the Kinect system -- called the Collaboration and Annotation of Medical Images -- can help prevent the risk of hospital-acquired infections and cut costs for individuals who live far from hospitals.
In a study announcement, the authors wrote, "The Kinect allows doctors to control the system without breaking the sterile field via hand gestures and voice commands with a goal of reducing the direct cost of health care-associated infections to hospitals and patients" (Gold, FierceHealthIT, 2/14).
The study also found that the system functions in areas where only low-bandwidth and unreliable connectivity is available (Medical News Today, 2/15).
While professional telehealth technology can cost thousands of dollars, the system -- which requires a Kinect, a PC and the correct Windows software -- can function well enough for a physician consultation at a cost of a few hundred dollars, according to the study (Lecher, PopSci, 2/14).
The authors said that the system will not single-handedly improve telehealth.
However, they said that it still is "a powerful tool that can be affordable in virtually any community that has existing technology and communication infrastructure" (FierceHealthIT, 2/14).