New tools are shifting health-care control from doctors to patients and these tools are in or attach to your smartphone. Smartphones have changed almost every aspect of our everyday lives and healthcare is next. You, the patient, are about to take center stage through the application of digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning.
This increasingly powerful set of tools can diagnose an ear infection, track heart rhythms, monitor mental health and basically reduce our use of doctors, cut costs, speed up the pace of care and give more control to patients. Mind you, there’s absolutely no substitution for a doctor but the relationship a patient has with them is changing.
Obviously there are challenges of security, device accuracy & failure rates not to mention the erosion of the doctor patient relationship but this evolution is inevitable (and resistance is futile).
Oh, you have a rash! Snap a smartphone picture and process it with an app. Within minutes an algorithm can text you a diagnosis. The text could also suggest the next steps, such as recommending a topical ointment or visiting a dermatologist for further assessment. ECG apps have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for consumers and validated in many clinical studies. A smartphone can not only record the data; it can interpret it.
Much of medicines diagnostic and monitoring aspects are beginning to shift from physicians to patient and the doctor visit will become treatment, guidance and the human touch of empathy & advice. Anywhere you can get a mobile signal, you can get data-driven medicine. Patients won’t just be empowered; they’ll be emancipated.
Read Article (Eric J Topol | wsj.com | 01/09/2015)
Challenges to this evolution are addressable just as challenges to learning how to use new technology are addressable and both will require your support.
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