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Are Smartphones Starting a Boom In DIY Medicine? 111

Posted by timothy
from the say-aaaaaah-and-hit-send dept.
An anonymous reader writes "How are you using smartphones and other portable devices to take charge of your medical care? The NY Times has an article about attachments to the iPhone for tracking blood sugar and blood pressure. There are also glorified web cams that take pictures of your ear drum, teeth or eyes to save you a trip to the doctor's. Some people are tracking the changes in their moles with an iPhone App. Is this the beginning of Med 2.0?" Odd as it sounds, I was able to be more quickly and reliably diagnosed with Lyme disease last fall because I'd taken some pictures on my phone of the lesion I'd wrongly thought was the result of a spider bite. Any camera would have worked, but I had my camera-equipped phone with me, rather than any other kind.
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Are Smartphones Starting a Boom In DIY Medicine?

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  • by PessimysticRaven (1864010) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:22PM (#39139549)

    As long as people don't like/trust doctors, or paying the high bills, there will always be serious interest in self-diagnosis. Smartphones do nothing to add to it, aside from allowing a portable search engine to plug symptoms into. Instant gratification.

    On the plus side, this'll likely increase the amount of reported deaths caused by self-treatment, because "ZOMG Technology is EVOL!"

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:27PM (#39139613) Homepage Journal

    As long as people don't like/trust doctors, or paying the high bills, there will always be serious interest in self-diagnosis. Smartphones do nothing to add to it, aside from allowing a portable search engine to plug symptoms into. Instant gratification.

    On the plus side, this'll likely increase the amount of reported deaths caused by self-treatment, because "ZOMG Technology is EVOL!"

    It's a boon to hypochondriacs - they'll find a horrible ailment for every ache, pain, disorientation, discoloration, etc.

  • by Neuromonger (1645483) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:48PM (#39139869)
    The faster we can transfer knowledge, the thinner the gap between professionals and autodidacts becomes. I think this is true of every profession, and not just the medical field.
  • mHealth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheezitmike (537630) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @04:15PM (#39140669)
    Using mobile technologies for healthcare is not just for self-diagnosis or as an alternative to expensive medical care. Many doctors and hospitals are adopting the technology and encouraging their patients to adopt it. There are lots of things you can do smaller and cheaper where telehealth systems or healthcare websites are currently being used. Preventive medicine mobile applications have been successful for improving health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions, in particular. Read the article before casually dismissing the field as a bunch of hypochondriacs trying to self-medicate.

    If you're a developer interested in the mobile health field, the mHealth Summit is currently the best annual conference.focused specifically on mobile health out there: http://www.mhealthsummit.org/ [mhealthsummit.org] Eric Topol, the subject of the NY Times article in the summary above, was one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 conference, along with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

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