Visiting the Dr. will become as Obsolete as Going to the Video Store
by Modis Health IT on March 7th, 2013
Dr. Eric Topol kicked off Day Two of HIMSS13 with an energized presentation forecasting the future we are living now. He explained that medical schools are distributing hand held ultrasounds instead of stethoscopes to medical students. He awed the crowd with examples of a slew of iPhone apps and devices that allow patients to engage with their own bodies from genomics, to a pulse oxymeter, to a cardiogram, to a glucometer.
Is using an app too much work? Then perhaps patients will be even more excited about the diagnostic tools available to them as they drive around in their Ford equipped with Sync. Ford already has over 5 million Sync enabled vehicles on the road and at their HIT X.0 session they revealed how the technology could help drivers monitor blood sugar, blood pressure, route calls to voicemail if they are stressed and even suggest alternate routes to avoid allergy triggers.
Geeks may swoon over the rapidly evolving health technology, but what does this mean for the population at large? How does having diagnostic tools at your fingertips improve your life?
There are many arguments being made for moving the doctor’s office to your smartphone, but one of the strongest is that personal diagnostics will empower patients to take control of their health and wellbeing. Everyone from elite athletes to the average Joe is already tracking their diet, workout effectiveness, heart rate and sleep patterns – why not give them the tools to monitor and own their complete medical profile? Rather than relying on medical professionals to gather and interpret data, Topol and others actually envision a system where patients become the primary and doctors become the second opinion.
Sound crazy? Did we really think even five years ago that we could watch movies and TV on a phone? That you wouldn’t make trips to the video store on Friday night?
So whether it’s a glucometer on your phone, or your car telling you to chill out, it sounds like medical care is about to become a lot more convenient and a lot more personal.