Saving a life through technology - Coffee with a Googler

AUG 14, 2015

Posted by Laurence Moroney, Developer Advocate

In this week’s Coffee with a Googler, we’re joined by Heidi Dohse from the Google Cloud team to talk about how she saved her own life through technology. At Google she works on the Cloud Platform team that supports our genomics work, and has a passion for the future of the delivery of health care.

When she was a child, Heidi Dohse had an erratic heartbeat, but, without knowing anything about it, she just ignored it. As a teen she became a competitive windsurfer and skier, and as part of a surgery on her knee between seasons, she had an EKG and discovered that her heart was beating irregularly at 270bpm.

She had an experimental surgery and was immediately given a pacemaker, and became a young heart patient, expecting not to live much longer. Years later, Heidi is now on her 7th pacemaker, but it doesn’t stop her from staying active as an athlete. She’s a competitive cyclist, often racing hundreds of miles, and climbing tens of thousands of feet as she races.

At the core of all this is her use of technology. She has carefully managed her health by collecting and analyzing the data from her pacemaker. The data goes beyond just heartbeat, and includes things such as the gyroscope, oxygen utilization, muscle stimulation and electrical impulses, she can pro-actively manage her health.

It’s the future of health care -- instead of seeing a doctor for an EKG every few months, with this technology and other wearables, one can constantly check their health data, and know ahead of time if there would be any health issues. One can proactively ensure their health, and pre-empt any health issues.

Learn more in the video.