USC’s Saxon to demonstrate body sensors in CNN feature

By: Neil Versel | Mar 18, 2013        

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Digital health innovators continue to make the national, mainstream media.

Dr. Leslie Saxon, director of the Center for Body Computing at the University of Southern California, will be profiled by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Sunday’s episode of CNN’s “The Next List,” which airs at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The show, hosted by CNN chief medical correspondent Gupta, explores innovation in science and technology.

In a video preview CNN released Monday, Saxon, a cardiologist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, is shown watching people working out in a gym, saying, “I’m continually fascinated by how much athletes, patients, everyone wants their own data because they want to learn and be better and have better outcomes.” At least one weightlifter appears to have a wireless sensor on the outside of his shirt, the kind of device Saxon has been using to gather data from elite athletes for several years.

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Also making appearances in the short clip are AliveCor founder Dr. Dave Albert, creator of the (previously named) iPhone ECG, and Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher. CNN did not immediately respond to an inquiry about other devices and people mentioned in the half-hour show.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, Saxon said the CNN crew interviewed several Center for Body Computing members and followed around her team.

This feature on a national TV program follows Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and another physician in the vanguard of the digital health revolution, being featured on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Topol also is set to be a guest on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central next week.

The iPhone ECG was also shown and debated in a short segment on Fox News’ “Sunday Housecall” Jan. 6, though participant mentioned neither Albert nor the product by name.

As MobiHealthNews noted last week, Topol used the iPhone ECG to diagnose atrial fibrillation of a fellow passenger – and possibly save her life – on his flight home from delivering a keynote address at HIMSS13. It was the second time Topol pulled out that device to treat a heart patient on an airplane, the first coming on a 2011 flight from Washington to San Diego that made an emergency landing near Cincinnati so a passenger having a heart attack could get immediate treatment.