What Next, The iColonoscope?Terrifying Prospect Of Smartphone Apps Replacing Proper Diagnosis

In this interesting and timely article cardiologist Dr Eric Topol discusses in The New York Times his vision of the future of healthcare, specifically the use of smartphone technology. The article can be found here and in it he gives many examples, good and bad, of how smartphone apps could bring elements of healthcare right to the home.

Did you know that you can buy a Smartphone Stethoscope for 99Cents… You can and its called the iStethoscope Pro and according to reviews it is poor. While the supplier warns that it’s only for entertainment purposes, the word “pro” might convince the less intelligent that spending 99Cents buys you a medical device.

Then there’s the $27 Dr Mom Otoscope. Don’t get me started please. The idea that it’s a smart move to encourage untrained people to poke things in each other’s ears, let alone expect a meaningful diagnosis from an admittedly low quality image is utterly terrifying and moreover does serious harm to what we’ll call “higher end” applications.

For example, we’ve covered French company Withings and their iphone compatible baby weight monitor… ok we don’t really like that idea either… but what about their blood pressure monitor? It might turn us all into obsessive hypochondriacs, but then again it might just provide the early warning system that saves us.

Or Glucose Buddy… wonder what that does?

Anyway, as the item states, “The ultimate goal is replicating the full-body diagnostic “tricorder” from the “Star Trek” TV show, a goal that is being encouraged by a $10 million prize put up by Qualcomm, the smartphone chip maker, through the X-Prize Foundation.”

Wonder if that’ll be a 99C app.

Source: New York Times, medlatest staff