Evacuees’ cellphones send data to med school

Kyodo

Iwate Medical University said Wednesday it will launch a service to allow disaster evacuees in Iwate Prefecture to send their blood pressure data by cellphone for examination by its employees.

If any problems are detected, doctors at the university will report the findings to evacuees’ primary physicians, its officials said.

The university has already delivered 50 dedicated blood pressure gauges for trial data transmission to evacuees living in temporary housing in Rikuzentakata and Yamada, and will soon send another 150 to evacuees in Kamaishi and Otsuchi to fully launch the service, the officials said.

The university has been keeping tabs on the health of 1,435 evacuees aged 40 or above forced to seek temporary accommodation since the March 2011 quake and tsunami. Of the total, 821 still displayed symptoms of high blood pressure three months after the disasters due to trauma and their new living environment.

“We hope we can examine the health of those who were affected by the catastrophe to prevent them from suffering health problems because of high blood pressure, for example strokes, and analyze the data to provide better medical services during future emergencies,” said Yasuo Terayama, a professor at the university.