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The scales - an obsolete instrument?

Since the end of the 19th century, scales have been part of the medical routine in hospitals and doctors' offices. Early on, seca pioneered the development of medical measuring and weighing systems and are now the global market leader. However, modern medicine continues to develop rapidly, and the last two decades have seen enormous progress in the area of ​​device diagnostics. This progress raises the question of whether medical scales still have a topical use and what their role might play in future medical science.

Scales are indispensable in today's inpatient and outpatient settings, as body weight is one of the standard clinical parameters and weigh-ins are still regularly done. For this reason, seca offers a wide range of medical weighing systems for all groups of patients - from birth to advanced age.

Merely weighing a patient offers only restricted information. While scales may accurately measure weight changes, they do not provide details on the underlying causes. In order to overcome these limitations, seca has been focusing on the development of new devices which combine the weight results with further vital parameters, and thus provide further information on the patient's physical constitution.

One such device, developed for this purpose, is our seca mBCA, which uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to precisely measure the proportion of a patient's individual body compartments. The seca mBCA provides precise information concerning the patient's diet, hydration and health status. In addition, it not only measures the proportion of the patient's body water, but their muscle and fat mass, and their exact location as well. Using additional parameters, the current state of the organism (See also: What is a phase angle?) can be assessed.

In the future, digitization and networking will also play an increasing role in the medical field. With the seca 360 ° wireless, seca offers an innovative solution for wireless networking. Compatible scales, measuring stations, as well as the seca mBCA, are all able to wirelessly exchange data within a secure network and send them to a computer. There, they can easily be inserted into an already existing patient data management system (PDMS). The interaction between the individual components of the seca 360 ° wireless network help to optimize the workflow and prevent transmission errors, allowing more time for a patient's treatment.

Scales will remain an integral part of basic medical diagnostics in the foreseeable future, although they will certainly become a part of interconnected medical devices. Soon, body weight in itself will no longer be considered separately, but in combination with other parameters (such as body composition), providing more precise information about the current state of a patient's health.