Episode 043 -- Telemedicine and Sentinel Healthcare


Tracking Blood Pressure

After my stroke (and before my stroke, too) I'm supposed to monitor my blood pressure regularly. That means I have to:

  • Put the cuff on my arm
  • Relax while it reads the data
  • Record the data on my log
  • Print off my log when I go see the doctor every few months

Seems simple, right?

Well here's where it gets complicated.

Because my left arm was affected by the stroke, I can't get reliable blood pressure there. Tone, spasticity, occasional edema, lack of use, and variable circulation mean the results are less accurate.

That means, I have to put the cuff on my right arm to get a reading. Have you ever tried to scratch your right elbow with your right hand? Yeah. You can see the challenge.

As I've gotten a little more left arm use back, I can kind of get the cuff in place by also using my teeth. That involves frustration, effort, and all sorts of movement. You know what that does? Yup. It raises my blood pressure.

When The GF is around, she can place the cuff which helps.

Of course that's best in the summer. In the winter, I'm wearing fleece or sweaters. And I don't want to take them off. So now I'm less likely to take a reading.

When I do take a reading during the day and log it, great. That data may be helpful in another 6 months.

But what if there was a better way?

Sentinel Healthcare

Long time listeners will be happy to welcome neurologist and Sentinel Healthcare CEO Dr. Nirav Shah back to the show. Nirav and Sentinel have that better way.

In Sentinel's solution, a patient uses a highly accurate wrist cuff blood pressure reader to take a reading, which transmits via Bluetooth to their iPhone and into a secure platform that gets that data to the care team. It solves the problems above while creating a bigger data-set to provide better care for the patient.

This week, I talk with Nirav about telemedicine in general and about what he and Sentinel are doing to pair telemedicine with blood pressure management to help patients receive better care while making it easy to comply with doctors' post-hospital instructions


Dr. Nirav H Shah HeadshotDr. Nirav H. Shah is a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and served as the stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. He enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.


Sentinel Healthcare


Sentinel Healthcare launches platform to fill gaps between IoT devices and doctors' offices




Hypertension costly to patients, society


Apple unveils Watch Series 4 with FDA-approved ECG


Nirav’s previous appearances


Nirav on Stem Cells and Stroke Recovery


Nirav  on LinkedIn


Nirav at Swedish


Nirav on Twitter


The Neurohospitalist


Nirav’s Photography


Hack of the Week -- Bring Joy to your Rehab Team

As a survivor, do you like the work your inpatient team did? Did they help you walk or eat or speak again? If you haven't talked with them since leaving the hospital, the Holiday season is a great time to send a note or card.

Once patients leave their care, most inpatient OT, PT, Speech Therapists, and others never hear more. If you want to brighten their day send an email or physical note, or visit the rehab unit them how you're doing. They love to hear from their alumni and to celebrate the progress you've made.

A card or note is a simple, low cost gift for the Holiday (or really any) season.

Where do we go from here?

  • Check out Sentinel Healthcare's website to learn more about the product and solution 
  • Send a message to your rehab team and let them know how you're doing
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode
  • Don't get best…get better


Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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