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Medwand - a Device That Does the Physical Exam During a Virtual Visit (Guest: Dr. Samir Qamar)

June 3, 2020

The Medwand has the potential to bring in-person quality visits to telemedicine. The developer of the device joins to talk about why this is so important.

With COVID-19, virtual visits have exploded, but there is just so much a physician can do by phone or computer screen.  That prompted Dr. Samir Qamar to develop the Medwand, a device which can listen to the heart, measure heart rate and conduct an EKG, listen to the lungs and measure respiratory rate, measure blood oxygen levels, take the patient’s temperature, listen to the abdomen, look inside the nose, throat, mouth, and ears, and inspect skin for abnormalities

See Health Care News, With Regulators at Bay, Virtual Doctor Visits Soar, May 5, 2020

Qamar is seeking FDA approval under the 510k process and expects the product will be on the market by November. His company is developing a smart phone-based application for use in the interim. Qamar says he has been one of the earlier proponents of direct care and virtual medicine and was prompted to develop the Medwand after he listened to a family-members lungs using her iPhone.  He was amazed of the quality of the sound and wondered if he could develop something that would do even more functions.  His device has been in the making for six years and uses a number of suppliers, including a sound technology company owned by Bon Jovi.  Qamar discusses the FDA approval process, which he thinks is a necessary and thorough one for medical devices.

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AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform. @HCPolicy