Apps In Medicine Essay

1231 words - 5 pages

Are you about to go into surgery? We have an app for that! There are mobile phone applications, “apps”, available for nearly every aspect of your life, including your health. There are categories specifically dedicated to medicine in Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The apps include guides to anatomy, pharmaceuticals, and patient treatment. These apps can be downloaded by anyone, but there are apps dedicated to just professionals as well. Until recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted radiologists from using mobile devices to view patient images. However, this year the FDA made the decision to approve a new radiological app that allows physicians to make diagnoses from images on a mobile device (Bolan, n.p.). This decision is just one of many that are paving the way for more apps in medicine. Health care is at a transitional point that, in 20 years, current technologies and social media, such as mobile apps and Skype, will be the standard information-sharing platforms used routinely by medical providers and caregivers.
It is not hard to imagine why this kind of technology will be gradually integrated into the medical field over the next 20 years. Inventors have had the ability to create these apps for a few years now. In 2011, an article was posted describing an app called AirStrip ONE that allowed doctors to monitor patients from remote locations or view the results of electrocardiograms on patients being transported by ambulance before they arrive at the hospital. AirStrip ONE allows “medical teams in the emergency room and cardiac catheterization lab time to prepare, and it can also help paramedics with triage” (Garloch, n.p.). Apps with advancing technology exist in other countries as well, and may soon be approved for use in the United States. For example, in Canada, doctors can look at a stroke patient's brain scan and other diagnostic images on an iPhone (The Calgary Herald, n.p.). The apps created today are as accurate as the tests and procedures currently used in hospitals. In fact, there is an app, SpiroSmart, that measures lip reverberations to asses lung function. App developer, Shwetak Patel, PhD, of the University of Washington, told the Journal of Family Practice that the accuracy of SpiroSmart has been found to be within 5% of traditional spirometry results (Lippman, n.p.). It’s not hard to imagine why we might see these apps routinely used in twenty years.
In 2012, the Department of Health took a survey of ideas to help improve healthcare. One of the suggestions was the ‘patient knows best’ app that allows patients to have online consultations with clinicians, and a diabetes app that reminds patients when to check their blood sugar and when to take their medication (Healthcare Apps, n.p.). These apps allow more patient and doctor communication and patient self-care. Doctors have also started “prescribing” apps to their more tech savvy patients. By doing this it allows doctors and patients to collaborate...

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