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Are Smartphones Starting a Boom In DIY Medicine?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the say-aaaaaah-and-hit-send dept.

Medicine 111

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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111 comments

And it all started with (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139515)

goatse

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139545)

Anyone so lazy that they wouldn't think to take care of their own health using the resources and devices already available to them - books, Internet-based references, first aid courses, exercise, nutritionists, cameras, sphygmomanometers, etc. - is not going to put in the requisite effort just because an iPhone allows them to put a little less effort into the bits where they don't have to think much anyway.

Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Insightful)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | about 2 years ago | (#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!"

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39139613)

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.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139837)

Munchausen's by proxy by iPhone.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139867)

Munchausen's by proxy by iPhone.

... either you're suggesting that people will use iPhones to make others ill in order to get attention, or you don't understand what Munchausen's by proxy is... Perhaps you meant "Munchausen's by iPhone"?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#39139883)

Munchausen's by proxy by iPhone.

Maybe Munchausan by anonymous proxy:

Amonymous coward to health forum:
I've rubbed the cream on like you sugested, but my balls are swelling up .. up ... UP - ah my left testical has exploded!

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#39140233)

Munchausan by seven proxies!

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140819)

"testical"???? Jesus wept.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139839)

WebMD always tells my girlfriend she has a drug overdose.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140125)

Maybe she should stop taking drugs?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

BobZee1 (1065450) | about 2 years ago | (#39140365)

i am already an internet hypochondriac. just started to recently use my phone for new and exciting ailments.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143519)

unfortunately this makes it a much bigger pain in the ass for those of us with things like MS or Lupus to get diagnosed because everyone thinks every symptom could be it so they don't take people seriously who really are experiencing all kinds of weird symptoms.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139667)

...right, because doctors are infallible, and never make mistakes. They also aren't prone to prescription med payola, or general self interest.

It would be less cynical stance to claim that this will reduce malpractice suits, rather than focus on self inflicted death.

BTW, while we're on such grim topics, where the assisted suicide device/app?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39139707)

...right, because doctors are infallible, and never make mistakes. They also aren't prone to prescription med payola, or general self interest.

It would be less cynical stance to claim that this will reduce malpractice suits, rather than focus on self inflicted death.

BTW, while we're on such grim topics, where the assisted suicide device/app?

You have given us the expectation of the first Lawsuit against a telecom company because the mobile phone run over their network gave someone poor advice which resulted in their illness, complication, death or zombification.

Well done.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39144019)

Isn't the iPhone already an assisted suicide device? Or does it only count when the end user successfully commits suicide?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39139803)

because doctors are infallible, and never make mistakes.

No we are certainly fallible and mistakes do happen. But since we are professionals we tend to make a lot fewer mistakes than the average person. You start getting the hang of what you're doing around your 5,000th 3am patient.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139953)

AC, here. I'm not really talking about trauma, and ER/EMS situations. There will always be a very real need for that.

But there IS that whole thing about the shortage of General Practice/Family Physicians and how a lot of doctors get burnt out and wind up having their bedside manner destroyed by grueling residencies (which your post hinted at). I think that whole complex of the education process kind of contributes to the self interest where, amidst the burn out, there becomes a quest to be rewarded for all the hard work done up front, and people move into specialization, or become Big Pharma hucksters.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39144531)

A grumpy, grouchy, tired doctor is still far less likely to make a mistake in diagnosis than your average iPhone owner.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140423)

As someone who suffered a (suspected) meniscus tear about three months ago which has yet to be treated as well as a very nasty infection a few months prior to that I've come to distrust medical professionals...

  • July - After three weeks of fever and coughing I contact a doctor, I'm told over the phone that "it's probably just a cold".
  • July - Another week later, finally get an appointment, they conclude quickly that it's not strep throat and tell me to get lots of rest.
  • Mid august - The "cold" finally begins to go away after almost seven straight weeks and another visit to a doctor who also just told me to "get some rest".
  • Early october - Hurt my right knee while engaged in physical exercise.
  • October (about a week later) - Called a doctor's office, was told "let the leg rest and call back in a week if it hasn't gotten better (at this point the knee was swollen, sore and very stiff).
  • October (another week later) - Called another doctor who told me it was probably nothing and to try to not use the leg(!)
  • Mid november - A third doctor finally concluded that there might be something more seriously wrong going on, her speculation was that it might be a baker's cyst. Told me she would refer me to an orthopedic specialist and that I'd get a letter about my appointment within the week.
  • Early december - Called the last doctor about the orthopedic appointment, was told by a nurse that it was sent two days earlier and that it had yet to be confirmed by the orthopedist.
  • Late december - Finally got a letter from the orthopedist, appointment in early january.
  • Early january - Orthopedist quickly decides it's a meniscus tear and suggest booking surgery right away, I demand an MRI first, he seems very annoyed by this.

My MRI is next week. It'll be "fun" to see what the conclusion of that will be.

(Btw, I'm a healthy male in his mid-20s, non-smoker, vegetarian, I exercise regularly, no family history of any serious illnesses (I know, everyone dies of something, what I mean is of course that there's no pattern of elderly relatives all dying of heart attacks or cancer or such), never previously had a cold that lasted longer than three or four days. So the long-running infection was by no means caused by my lifestyle, if it was I suspect many of my friends would have died years ago)

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140589)

based on your abbreviated history, I'm going to suggest seasonal allergies for your "cold"... It's really, really common for people in their mid-20s to discover that they have hay fever or other allergies. It has to do with your immune system gradually changing, and potentially that you moved somewhere different and are now exposed to new allergens. If you carry the genetics for allergies in the first place, then you are primed. All you need is exposure to the allergen, and over a period of time, you develop the reaction. (i.e. very few people die of a bee sting allergy the *first* time they are stung, that's the one that creates the sensitivity).

Hie thee to an allergist (or an internist) and have them run the simple tests (where they see a) are you susceptible at all.. 20% of population doesn't carry the genes and b) they'll hit you with mixed allergens of various types and see if they cause a reaction.

the problem with respiratory allergies is that it causes an inflammation, which then makes conditions ripe for a secondary infection.... This kind of thing is gradual onset, and you might not even have noticed that you're a bit more congested than normal (attributing it to weather, dust, stress), until you're on the meds, and you go "hey, I couldn't breathe nearly as easily".. or that you never got colds in the past, and all of a sudden you've got sort of low grade colds all the time.

Trivially managed these days with OTC meds, so it's not like in the past where antihistamines put you to sleep (Benadryl or Actifed) or where you'd have to go through a long series of "allergy shots" where they'd desensitize you.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140701)

I'm not so sure it's an allergy. I haven't moved, this was after the "pollen season" where I live and I don't know of any close relatives that have any allergies. Also, this wasn't just a matter of a slight cold, we're talking fairly high fever pretty much constantly, throbbing headache that kind of came and went, seriously bad coughing (was using OTC cough medicine just so I could sleep) and a extremely sore throat in the beginning (after a couple of weeks the soreness sort of went away but the coughing wouldn't stop). Not to mention my gf had a cold at about the same time as mine started and with similar symptoms but for her it only lasted a few days...

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141295)

Did anything come up when you coughed (sputum, blood)?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39141613)

Sounds like pertussis. Lots of MD's haven't seen it, because it was going away before parents stopped vaccinating their kids. I had it as a third-year medical student, and didn't diagnose the likely cause until I was studying for a pediatrics test. Did you cough until you felt like you were about to vomit, then catch a deep breath and start all over again? For weeks on end?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142783)

You have the right to a second opinion. Personally I would never allow myself to be treated by a physician willing to do so over the phone... but at the end of the day the responsibility is back in your lap - did you just not feel like going to the doctor's office that day, or were you just trying to avoid being billed by asking him to diagnose you over the phone? I'm sorry but it's like car "accidents". Yeah maybe one party was more culpable than the other one, but at the end of the day both drivers are to blame. Patients have the right to insist on being examined properly. If you don't do that, well, you end up with mediocre doctors who diagnose and prescribe over the phone. Hoping that some third party with authority (government, licensing board, etc) will step in and make it all better for you and force doctors to do 100% of what they have to do is just naive. You are allowed to shop around and a really good doctor is hard to find, like everything else.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39144449)

I didn't ask to be diagnosed over the phone, they "diagnosed" me as more or less fine over the phone with a "and that's that" tone.

And I did try to "shop around", just didn't work out very well since it seems like the majority of those I encountered simply didn't care or weren't prepared to step out of their comfortable little bubble where everything is "just a cold" or heals with "a little rest". The only doctor I've met in the last year who I felt was competent (as in, didn't give the impression of stumbling blindly around) was the orthopedic specialist and he definitely could stand to work on his bedside manners.

That's not to say I think my experience is universal, I know others who have had much better experiences. I'm just saying that for me this has definitely worsened my view of medical professionals. I always knew they couldn't all be the best of the best but from my experiences it seems the average general practitioner where I live is barely able to do his/her job (unless every patient has either a mild head cold).

Assisted Suicide App (3, Funny)

The_Crisis (2221344) | about 2 years ago | (#39139871)

It's already here. You can find it under the name "Angry Birds."

Re:Assisted Suicide App (4, Funny)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 2 years ago | (#39140341)

No, that just makes you want to commit suicide. It doesn't actually help you accomplish the task ;)

Re:Assisted Suicide App (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141951)

No, that just makes you want to commit suicide. It doesn't actually help you accomplish the task ;)

It does help you walk off cliffs, into the paths of vehicles, etc, when you're looking down at the screen.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#39140065)

BTW, while we're on such grim topics, where the assisted suicide device/app?

Those are already out there, they go by MANY fine brands...Glock, Beretta, Smith&Wesson....etc.

Just put in mouth, pull delivery device (trigger) and your assisted suicide is quick and simple.

Oh...you may need, depending on your model, to make sure that the safety is off, if it has a safety.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Funny)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#39140209)

Suicide by trebuchet!

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140677)

Glock, Beretta, Smith&Wesson....etc.

Don't forget all the other options: knives, ropes, vehicles, household poisons, medications, GRAVITY ... the list is damned near endless. Focusing on guns is fucking stupid.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39141681)

Oh, it's not that easy. I've seen plenty of people who screwed it up. I suggest that you use a shotgun, and that you bite the barrel - that will ensure you have it pointed in a direction that will kill you rather than just blow off your face.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 2 years ago | (#39139773)

Yet. I predict from this trend will rise cheap, bluetooth enabled medical sensors of various types.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143473)

I couldn't agree with you more. Anything that a doctor can recognize and diagnose via a photo - a computer will be able to as well. "Yup that's a tick bite. Come on in for some blood work."

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#39139881)

"As long as people don't like/trust doctors"

Nice corporate line. My wife had Lyme and went from doctor to doctor before they finally referred her to specialist care which confirmed what she'd already diagnosed!

Doctors are not interchangeable, have a tiny slice of time to work with patients (your auto mechanic has more time per car by far!), and are under constant pressure.

Computer-aided diagnosis can be a huge boon to a public who can't afford medical care or who are under-served by existing options.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#39140129)

Why shouldn't computers help out with diagnosis. Doctors can only have so much going on in their head. They can only read so many journal articles, their knowledge can't be infinite in all directions. I remember that they said one of the uses of Watson (The Jeopardy Playing Computer) was that it would be able to help in medical diagnosis, by using a huge database of medical knowledege. Medical costs are currently out of control in both countries with and without socialized medicine. If we can harness the power of computers to make things cheaper, we really should do it.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144495)

Medicine is largely heuristics as the physician is matching the symptoms the patient has to a diagnosis, and patients' symptoms are rarely ever "textbook" symptoms. There is a lot of overlap of symptoms and history between many different conditions early on in the illness. People are great at heuristics. Computers are awful at heuristics but are excellent at data storage, algorithmic sorting, and data retrieval. The reason the Jeopardy computer did well is because it was asked to retrieve data. You entered in a question with only one correct answer and it could brute-force search an entire enormous database to arrive at the answer. Medicine is nothing like that unless you want every last test known to man performed on every patient so that the computer can arrive at a brute-force "we have eliminated every possible other diagnosis" kind of an answer. Computers really only aid the physician in doing what computers do best, assisting with information storage and retrieval, such as storing patients' medical histories and allowing the physician to search journals and online databases for information.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (4, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#39140331)

Not to mention that the vast majority of illness/injury are already self diagnosed and self treated. Can you imagine if every time you got a headache or your kid scratched themselves while playing, you rushed off to the doctor?

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 years ago | (#39141251)

Please have your wife talk to her doctor about a blood test for vitamin D deficiency (which is related to the immune system). Related:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/news-archive/2010/vitamin-d-regulatory-hormone-of-immunity-and-inflammation/ [vitamindcouncil.org]

Please also look into the work of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who is his first "Healthy Times" newsletter has an article about people coming into his office related to Lyme disease and feeling much better after they improve what they eat (much more vegetables and fruits and omega-3s and so on).
http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/newsletter.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx [drfuhrman.com]

Even if the issue is Lyme disease, vitamin D and phytonutrients help build up the immune system so it can fight of pathogens.

Also look into the book "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Kenneth B. Singleton M.D., which has sections about how sunlight and a better diet help with Lyme disease.
http://www.amazon.com/Lyme-Disease-Solution-Kenneth-Singleton/dp/1934812005 [amazon.com]

I agree about the computer-aided diagnosis. I hope some day we will have cheap tests people can do at home for nutritional status and vitamin D levels from a drop of blood, perhaps involving cell phones, as described here:
http://www.ted.com/talks/george_whitesides_a_lab_the_size_of_a_postage_stamp.html [ted.com]

Until then, please look into these issues for yourself and your wife (since you may be at risk as well if you eat in similar ways or have a similar lifestyle without immense amounts of sunlight).

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39141713)

your auto mechanic has more time per car by far!

Your auto mechanic gets paid by the hour, at the time of service. Your doctor gets paid per patient, several months later.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140269)

Tracking blood pressure and blood sugar is not self diagnosis. It's really fantastic if you already are diagnosed with something and need to keep track of those numbers in the first place, especially if you combine it with food and medical logs. When I had gestational diabetes, I was able to send reports from a diabetes website to my midwife, so she could keep track of my blood sugars and diets with every visit, to make sure I didn't need to start medication, and remain diet controlled. I was also able to find out that milk was a huge trigger for me, and had to avoid it. Had I not kept all those logs like that, and just checked to make sure I didn't go over whatever number the midwife said, I would have wound up on insulin, and would have had to deliver in the hospital, with an MD, and not at the birth center, with my midwife, because I would have been high risk. Instead, this made it so much easier to look at the big picture and say, "Hey, why don't you cut out the milk, the times you have that is when you have the spikes in blood sugar".

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140649)

As long as people don't like/trust doctors, or paying the high bills, there will always be serious interest in self-diagnosis.

I think it goes beyond feelings about doctors, and may have even more to do with feelings about insurance companies. If phone apps can save you from having to worry about whether or not any particular claim will be denied, or downgraded, without just cause, the attraction may be strong indeed.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39140685)

It'll probably save a few people who would otherwise get no healthcare at all.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140861)

Lime disease is easier to diagnose as I understand. Look for a bulls-eye.

Re:Bad idea (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 2 years ago | (#39140919)

I cannot even tell you how much of a bad idea this is. I am graduating medical school in two months, and am barely starting to feel "a little" comfortable making a judgment on my own, only a fraction of the time. I will need to accumulate ALL of the experience that 3 years of 80+hour work weeks of residency can give me. And I am a cocky bastard at that. I just realize that the difference between a doctor (especially one trained at a high-volume top-tier teaching hospital) and a civilian is. The gap is so large, as to be close to insurmountable. Actually, probably the most important thing I have learned in my training, is that I know VERY LITTLE from the overall ocean of medical knowledge, and my pond is much larger than average.

Anyway, I'm ranting. Let me give you a shorter explanation. I have PhD. I am 2 months away from having an MD. If I have a rash that concerns me, I go to a dermatologist. I don't research it online, and won't use an app to do it. I know precisely enough between my two degrees to know where the limits of my knowledge are. Most people don't. The number of soccer-moms (and dads) who think they know medicine is enormous... and their tinkering puts them and their families in danger. Nothing can ever give you the knowledge and especially the experience of going through medical training... other than medical training.

At the beginning of my career, I will have spent 4 years in college, 5 years in graduate school, 4 years in medical school, 3 years in residency, and 3 years in fellowship (19 years total, with my guess an average of >80hrs/wk, even including college, but let's say 80, so over 70'000 hours, with 40'000 hours of medicine alone).

I really hope that when my patients come to me, I'll be more useful to them than an iPhone app.

Really bad idea from bad people (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 2 years ago | (#39141411)

All the anecdotal evidence posted as a result of this one article, and you still can't see the forest for the trees.

I'd love it if a caring, smart, motivated professional would take the time to diagnose my ills when I have them - I truly would.

The problem is that the professionals are neither motivated, smart, nor professional. Let me break that down for you in easy pieces:

  • Motivated: By the time you get to see a doctor, he's already got your money. There's no incentive to actually cure you, and every incentive to get you to come back for more appointments. If he makes a wrong diagnosis, you pay for another one. (Hint: Compare with getting your car fixed.)
  • Smart: As everyone here on this forum and everywhere else in the country are quick to point out, doctors are idiots. Rather than diagnose, they roll dice for your treatment. "Probably <common-problem>, try this and see if it gets better".
  • Professional: Just as doctors are nominally the best people to diagnose disease, doctors are also the best people to judge other doctors. And yet, issues of mistake or malpractice are generally hidden from public view by the doctors themselves. It's impossible to judge whether someone is a bad doctor, or a good doctor who made a rare mistake, or a good doctor doing inherently risky procedures.

Medical care in this country is broken in the way that it is set up. It's an overly expensive inflexible walled-garden. It takes informed choice away from people, and then derides them for attempting to learn more.

It's another one of those entrenched monopolies that we hear so much about. It'll take awhile, but eventually new technology will overtake the entrenched interests and surpass it - Just like the digital camera did to film cameras, iTunes is doing to music, P2P is doing to movies, and Udacity will soon be doing to universities.

It's a bubble-burst whose time has come.

Mod parent up (3, Informative)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 years ago | (#39141585)

Sad, but true...

And it gets even worse:
http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/PCI_angioplasty_article.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
"Interventional cardiology and cardiovascular surgery is basically a scam based on a misunderstanding of the nature of heart disease. Searching for and treating obstructive plaque does not address the areas of the coronary vascular tree most likely to rupture and cause heart attacks. If there was never another CABG or angioplasty performed or stent placed, patients with heart disease would be better off. Doctors would be forced to educate our citizens that their heart disease risk is determined by what they place on their forks. Millions of lives would be dramatically extended. To abandon the theory of stretching and cutting out areas with plaque would shut down interventional cardiology, nearly all cardiovascular surgery, and many suppliers of the biotechnology. In many cases, interventional cardiology is the major income generator to hospitals. The ending of this ill-conceived, out-dated and ineffective technology would dramatically downsize hospitals in the United States and free up over $100 billion annually in medical care costs. Besides being ineffective, interventional cardiology places the responsibility in the hands of the doctor and not the patients. When patients finally realize they must take control of their heart problems with aggressive dietary modifications (and when needed medications for temporary periods) we will essentially solve the health crisis in America.
    The sad thing is surgical interventions and medications are the foundation of modern cardiology and both are relatively ineffective compared to nutritional excellence. My patients routinely reverse their heart disease, and no longer have vulnerable plaque or high blood pressure, so they do not need medical care, hospitals or cardiologists anymore. The problem is that in the real world cardiac patients are not even informed that heart disease is predictably reversed with nutritional excellence. They are not given the opportunity to choose and just corralled into these surgical interventions.
    Trying to figure out how to pay for ineffective and expensive medicine by politicians will never be a real solution. People need to know they do not have to have heart disease to begin with, and if they get it, aggressive nutrition is the most life-saving intervention. And it is free."

And:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/to-james-randi-on-skepticism-about-mainstream-science.html#Some_quotes_on_social_problems_in_science [pdfernhout.net]
"The problems I've discussed are not limited to psychiatry, although they reach their most florid form there. Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. (Marcia Angell)"

Much of the path to better health was known 100 years ago by the natural hygienists. See:
http://soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/shelton.bio.bidwell.htm [soilandhealth.org]
"At this time in 1927, Dr. Shelton is already being harassed in his Hygienic practice by advocates of The Medical Mentality and by the police. In 1927, Dr. Shelton is jailed for the first time for "practicing medicine without a license" and is fined $100.oo. This same year of 1927, a second arrest takes place, under similar circumstances and with charges of $300.oo. His money is so tight this second time, he has to borrow to be released. Also, in 1927, the New York Evening Graphic lets Dr. Shelton go because he will not co-operate with their advertisement policies and insists on running an anti-smoking article. Still, during this time, Dr. Shelton's Hygienic practice grows; he is respected and admired for his efforts. The third arrest also occurs, all in New York, for "practicing medicine without a licence." The great irony is that Dr. Shelton would never "practice medicine"! Still, that is what the authorities call it when someone tells people how to live, how to sleep, how to eat, and how not to take medicines!"

They were systematically suppressed by efforts like these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexner_Report [wikipedia.org]
"Between 1910 and 1935, more than half of all American medical schools merged or closed. This dramatic decline was in some part due to the implementation of the Report's recommendation that all "proprietary" schools be closed, and that medical schools should henceforth all be connected to universities. Of the 66 surviving MD-granting institutions in 1935, 57 were part of a university. An important factor driving the mergers and closures of medical schools was that all state medical boards gradually adopted and enforced the Report's recommendations.
    One of the consequences of Flexner's advocacy of university-based medical education was that medical education became much more expensive, putting such education out of reach of all but upper-class white males. The small "proprietary" schools Flexner condemned, which were contended to be have been based in generations-old folk traditions rather than relatively recent western science, did admit African-Americans, women, and students of limited financial means. These students usually could not afford six to eight years of university education, and were often simply denied admission to medical schools affiliated with universities. While many such doctors continued to practice, they did so under proscribed circumstances and for less pay. It also made it more difficult for people of color, residents of rural areas, and for those of limited means generally to obtain medical care in any form."

A collection of other health links by me:
http://www.changemakers.com/discussions/discussion-493#comment-38823 [changemakers.com]

Re:Really bad idea from bad people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39144615)

Wrong.

1. Motivated: Nearly all physician office visits are paid for by some third-party payor. The physician won't get any money from them for seeing you for months after your visit, if they are lucky. There is every incentive to cure you since patients who do not get better tend to get upset at their physicians and go see other ones. They also tend to sue, and lawsuits cost a ridiculous amount of money even just to get an obviously frivolous suit dismissed. You bet your bottom dollar that malpractice insurers love to find any excuse to jack up rates on somebody.
2. Smart: Medicine is one of the most difficult fields to enter, has an extremely long period of very intense training, and medical professionals are very likely have to take more tests than any other profession out there. People who make it through are NOT idiots. However, your typical Slashdot nerd who thinks he knows everything about everything because he can read Wikipedia and write shell scripts likely is not a medical professional and has NO CLUE as to what actually goes on in the field. Yes, there are some inept physicians. There are also a very large number of inept mechanics, IT guys, programmers, teachers, professors, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
3. Professional: Physicians are one of the MOST policed professions out there and it is impossible to hide anything. Ever hear of the National Provider Database? Ever enter your physician's name into a search engine? There will be at least ten hits on the first page relating to their performance. And not to mention now the government tracks every last thing every physician who participates in Medicare does, down to every word of every note in a patient chart. Is there a National Mechanic Database that details every vehicle your mechanic couldn't fix? Is there a listing of every court case your lawyer lost? Is there a national listing of every programmer who ever wrote any programs with errata? Or a listing of every Slashdot user whose personal vanity home page doesn't work?

And the bit about informed choice is laughable. You have as much choice in a physician's office as you do with any other person in a service industry. The physician cannot make you do anything you do not want to, except in some very extreme cases well spelled out in case law (generally involving psych patients, people with a few infectious diseases that pose a significant hazard to others, and a few things with minors.) The physician does reserve some right of refusal to do things, just like any other group. For example, you can ask a Hooters waitress to strip for you, but that doesn't mean she has to do it or that they have to continue to serve you in the restaurant after that.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141869)

...and yet many of "you" (doctors) will protect your turf, put down those "soccer-moms" that know their own kids better than anyone else and have a stronger drive to care for them than anyone else as well. Kind of sad. Here's what's really sad-- my child had a malignant brain tumor. We took him to a nurse practitioner who nailed it right away. I am very thankful because I've met a number of parents who's children had the same (or worse) symptoms and yet their doctors knew so much more than the parents and even lectured how their children were just faking being sick to get out of going to school! Yikes... by the time these poor kids were diagnosed their tumors where huge. If these "soccer moms" hadn't been persistent and had decided they don't know medicine and should just listen to the doctor and follow orders like a well managed parent/patient these kids might not have had any chance (and note, I didn't say whether these kids made it or not). Really, really sad. I could go on to another medical specialty, but the current practice of obstetrics in the U.S.A. is so crazy that it would be funny if it wasn't messing with the lives of women and their children, so I'm not evening going there.

Also, glad you recognize that you're cocky. Realize that also means you might have a tendency to dismiss the thoughts, ideas and efforts of those that haven't followed the same educational path you have or that haven't overworked themselves as much.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141843)

How the hell is this 'insightful'?

Stupid is the new clever.

Re:Self-Treatment =/= Doctor (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145031)

self diagnosis is good, if you are informed then you can talk in more sensible way with your doctors too which is a benefit as this can avoid silly misunderstandings that can be lethal or at least painful. However if you consider that even cleaning your ear in an incorrect way may be dangerous one may thing additional motivation to do things you were not schooled to do may mean additional work for your physician..... In any case I would not try iAnything to help my health. That may mean I lose what is left of my independent life.

I typed in my symptoms and it says (4, Funny)

shoppa (464619) | about 2 years ago | (#39139597)

I typed in my symptoms and my iPhone says that I have:

Internet Connectivity Problems

Oh no, do I have to go to the emergency room??!!!!?

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39139775)

I typed in my symptoms and my iPhone says that I have:

  Internet Connectivity Problems

Oh no, do I have to go to the emergency room??!!!!?

I think there's some huck^H^H^H^Hexpert selling a device which will save you, but it requires 10 easy payments.

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (2)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 years ago | (#39139779)

Doctor, we've got a 404, Stat!

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39139931)

Wouldn't a 503 be more appropriate? Also, stat can be translated as "now!" so you're supposed to say what you want first like "We need a WiFi hotspot, stat". It's not capitalized, it's just a normal adverb (from latin statim). And with this much nitpicking in one post, I'm bound to have typo'd something...

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39139781)

I typed in my symptoms and my iPhone says that I have:

  Internet Connectivity Problems

Oh no, do I have to go to the emergency room??!!!!?

Well, many ER's these days do have open wireless access for people stuck in the waiting room. I'd just advise NOT checking in.

That might hurt.

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39139851)

I typed in my symptoms and my iPhone says that I have:

  Internet Connectivity Problems

Oh no, do I have to go to the emergency room??!!!!?

Well, many ER's these days do have open wireless access for people stuck in the waiting room. I'd just advise NOT checking in.

That might hurt.

A local hospital charges your for checking in. You could be directed to X-Ray, but hop in your car and go home, still find a bill in your post box within two weeks.

Re:I typed in my symptoms and it says (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39139997)

Just sit in the waiting room typing on your computer. Nobody is going to gainsay you - you're 'waiting for someone'.

But never, ever check in if you can at all help it....

DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartphone (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | about 2 years ago | (#39139611)

DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartphone.  My friend got hit by a boom while sailing once and split his forehead.  His dad grabbed the duct tape conveniently aboard (they were far from a hospital) and *PRESTO*, wound sealed.  It healed with less of a scar than my finger I got stitches for.

On a slightly more serious note, the interwebs and all its tubes have increased the ease of access to medical information and I certainly hope have improved the quality of care patients can get just by being more educated.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#39139807)

DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartphone. My friend got hit by a boom while sailing once and split his forehead. His dad grabbed the duct tape conveniently aboard (they were far from a hospital) and *PRESTO*, wound sealed. It healed with less of a scar than my finger I got stitches for.

On a slightly more serious note, the interwebs and all its tubes have increased the ease of access to medical information and I certainly hope have improved the quality of care patients can get just by being more educated.

I use Super Glue on cuts all the time. Faster than a bandage. Also good when I get one of those damn split fingernails, just glue the sucker back together and I'm back picking my n... picking apples like a pro.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | about 2 years ago | (#39139847)

Super glue is amazing it's true I use it as well. Although for cuts that are likely to get infected liquid bandage would probably be better- it has a disinfectant in with the glue. #1 in my first aid kit :)

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#39140255)

I use Super Glue on cuts all the time.

There are 'medical grade' super glues.
They use different chemicals that are non-toxic and less irritating to the skin.

Of course, like a camera, the best type of liquid bandage is the one you have with you.

P.S. Don't buy any liquid bandaid with oil of cloves in it. The smell is awful and stays on you for far too long.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39140803)

Actually, medical grade super glues are EXACTLY the same stuff you get at the hardware store, just much more expensive because they're 'medical'.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39141767)

No, the medical stuff dries to a soft, smooth surface. Nothing wrong with the hardware store stuff, though, as long as you clean it really well first. It will hurt, though.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142853)

I have used the hardware store stuff myself and had no problems whatsoever. It was painless and flexible. I have seen interviews where surgeons admitted that they just use the hardware store stuff (though that was when it was fairly new).

I can't see a good reason to pay more for the so called 'medical grade' stuff.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143443)

The primary reason to use it is that it is blessed by the FDA, so if someone has a reaction at the site there's no question that you used a product that has been tested and certified safe for human use. A secondary reason is that it forms a cohesive mass, so that if you peel it off you don't have to worry about pieces coming off in the wound.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144123)

And things like that are why people end up with no medical care at all.

Re:DIY medicine started a lot earlier than smartph (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145091)

Duct tape... Super glue... You're a bunch of sissies. A soldering iron and an industrial stapler are everything you need.

Awareness (5, Interesting)

trimpnick (1362187) | about 2 years ago | (#39139709)

I think that while documentation is already freely available for a lot of medical conditions, integrations into a single device (that you carry all the time with you) can surely raise awareness about such documentation. I don't think that people wanting to know more about a medical condition is necessarily evil or a sign of not trusting doctors. Has the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake completely disappeared? "Self-medication" may well result in misdiagnosis and possible complications by not going to the doctor in some cases, but on the flip side, it might encourage others to go consult trained professionnals because they think they might not have something as benign as they first thought. Furthermore, there is a lot of developement in completely automated tools for diagnosing infections, genetic mutations, etc which might reduce the need for some medical consultation within the next 5-10 years.

Re:Awareness (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39139873)

Look, knowledgeable patients are helpful, no matter how they get the knowledge. And 'smartphones' are really just a ubiquitous hardware standard for the several devices that have been available to the general public for years - BP cuffs, glucometers, pulse oximeters and a few more. It isn't going to 'revolutionize' anything. I will 'evolutionalize' (huh, spell checker doesn't like that one) things. Just like having automatic blood pressure cuffs so you didn't have to figure out what Kortkoff sounds [wikipedia.org] were. Just makes it easier and more convenient.

You're not going to see much in the way of full scale autodiagnosis for a while. But a reasonably intelligent person with college level reading skills and access to the Internet could puzzle out most medical problems given some time and perhaps direction. The rest of the planet, not so much.

Spider bite! (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about 2 years ago | (#39139721)

the lesion I'd wrongly thought was the result of a spider bite

Now that could have been waaaay cooler than Lyme desease.

Re:Spider bite! (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#39139743)

The spider wasn't radioactive.

Taking a photo != Diagnosis.. (2)

uncledrax (112438) | about 2 years ago | (#39139789)

.. I'm a bit confused.. is there an App that analysis a photograph and gives you a diagnosis?
Else I'm wondering how taking a photo of an ailment helps diagnosis.. more information is needed.

That said, I think it's the availability of Pocket Internet that is doing this. not necessary smartphones.. keep it abstract and we won't have to also have 'Are ${your-tablet-here} starting a boom of DIY medicine?'....

Further on.. do people really think that every little ailment they have requires a 'medical professional'?
(I am NOT advocating that laypersons diagnosis or treat anything remotely serious.. just it seems to me people are heading to ERs/MDs for issues that could easily be treated at home with just a tiny bit of knowledge..)

Re:Taking a photo != Diagnosis.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140057)

No, but sometimes there's that nagging feeling that maybe it's not just a *insert minor ailment here*. When you combine a decent phone with the embedded ability to send the image to a pro, you can get a second opinion pretty quickly - or just look up stuff on the internet (oh shit, was that a Brown Recluse?). Early intervention can make a big difference in the efficacy of many treatments.

Plus, if you have a way to track your potential medical condition easily and conveniently (whether it's diet, or blood sugar, or whatever), you get to take better control of your health.

Is it all good? Probably not. There are always people who take it too far, but for most of us it's a combination of comforting and empowering. On the whole, I think it's a Good Thing(TM).

Re:Taking a photo != Diagnosis.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140473)

the 3rd world has the 1st world beat on minor medical care.

if you have a MINOR ailment, go to a local pharmacy*. ask for the meds you need (eg amoxicillin). if you don't know what you want tell the pharmacist your symptoms and you get a free diagnosis. buy the $3-5 of antibiotics or whatnot that you need. done.

*many pharmacists in the 3rd world did their training in the first world so they actually know stuff and speak english (helpful if you're a tourist).

now contrast this with the first world. schedule an appointment with your doctor for next week (if you're really lucky) or even farther out. wait and wait and wait until your appointment. go to the appointment and wait some more. fill out some paperwork. wait some more. now pay. a lot. even with health insurance, drop a minimum of $100 on co-pays for dr and meds.

Re:Taking a photo != Diagnosis.. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39141787)

Having a photo of a rash that appeared and then went away is a handy thing to show your MD. Just like having a video of a seizure, or of a stroke (especially if the symptoms resolve, as with a TIA).

Re:Taking a photo != Diagnosis.. (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142415)

Further on.. do people really think that every little ailment they have requires a 'medical professional'? (I am NOT advocating that laypersons diagnosis or treat anything remotely serious.. just it seems to me people are heading to ERs/MDs for issues that could easily be treated at home with just a tiny bit of knowledge..)

It's amazing how much people's threshold for going to a doctor varies. Some people really do go everytime they have an observable symptom (or at least seem to). Others won't go until their scrotum is the size of a grapefruit and starting to undergo gangrene. Still others just plain never go. IMHO grade school health class should focus on "this is nothing, whereas this is serious", because laypeople often have no idea.

Even more complicated is the patient who has something that's harmless, but thinks it's serious so they don't go to a doctor. I was at the autopsy of such a man a couple months ago. He had a huge abscess on his head, which I'm sure grew over time and was rather painful. He was convinced it was a tumor, so he avoided seeing doctors and was rather worried about it for the last year of his life. Any doctor/nurse could have drained it, and put his mind at ease, and likely done some tests to see how bad of shape his heart was in.

Less cell phone usage = better health (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#39139861)

They way I use my phone to improve my health is by using it less, or use it only when I need to. Put the phone down on my desk instead of having it on my all the time, and don't be so dependent on checking emails and facebook.

Quick easy knowledge. (1, Insightful)

Neuromonger (1645483) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Quick easy knowledge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140013)

The volume of knowledge necessary to practice medicine is orders of magnitude larger than the volume required to fix your car.

Don't try to teach yourself medicine. Talk to a doctor.

Re:Quick easy knowledge. (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#39140235)

Having a part of a body of knowledge is a damn sight different than being an experienced practitioner in that field.

Liberating Experiences (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#39139891)

Bluetooth cellphone headsets liberated schizophrenics from the stigma of talking out loud to yourself.
DIY cellphone medicine will liberate people who want to stick their cell phone up their anus from the stigma associated with sticking a cell phone up your anus.

doctors won't get online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139951)

My doctor will not do any online media (facebook, twitter, email, ...) because if someone sends him something (a picture of a mole, a description of an anomoly, etc.) he is, by law, assumed to have seen that transmission and acted on it professionally - even if he never saw the message. He says that the liability issues are enormous and he won't even get on facebook with his kids.

Googling for symptoms is fantastic, News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39139959)

Using google, I have self diagnosed myself with HIV and cancer at least 13 times in the last 15 years. When I finally get to the doctor, the blood tests are clear, the lumps are fat, and the fevers are a cold virus!

Invaluable in the right circumstances (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140041)

I have an iPhone 4. My wife has advanced Lupus and several other obscure maladies. My ability to grab high quality video of a short & mild (and thankfully rare) seizure/spell, while narrating the event and asking relevant questions of my wife for the 5-10 minutes it lasted was invaluable for the doctor.

Rather than trying to describe it from my or her memory, the doc could see her pupils, see the limb tremors, hear her responses to questions (Do you know where you are, what is today, what are you feeling, can you lift your hands/feet/look at my finger/follow my hand moving, are you hot/cold/dizzy, et.al.), see her overall pallor, etc.

Not DIY really, but very helpful, compared to potentially faulty/spotty recall hours or days after the fact.

people already self medicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140047)

people already self medicate

they use alcohol, canabis, savlon, lsd, ritilin and all sorts. the problem seems to be when either corporations aren't making money out of it or when people abuse them.

here in the uk having cannabis in your possession is classed as 'abuse'. uk law is lulzy

Nope (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#39140061)

Not as more and more employers ban phones from being turned on during company time. It might be hard for an IT guy or developer to get their head around, but it is true and IMHO probably increasing. And giving the boss a note from your doctor requiring you have your phone on and ready at all times would be an hilarious vignette to watch.

QS^PONGE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140097)

MANY OF US ARE r0ots and gets on Clear she couldn't bloc in order to the NetBSD project, 8utated testicle of

Sensors (3, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#39140347)

Just today was watching this Solve for X talk [wesolveforx.com] , where Kevin Dowling present strechable electronics, that is a very thin sheet can be attached to the skin and work as internal sensors, having communication and so on. Pairing that with a cellphone looks the next logical step.

And yes, with the appropiate sensors a cellphone could be a good boom for diy medicine, provided that it can detect whether you should worry about, take measures for yourself, or scale up to going to a proper doctor or hospital.

Now we just need to add some blue LED's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140533)

And have it make that "wooowooowooo" noise like a proper medical tricorder.

mHealth (3, Insightful)

cheezitmike (537630) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:mHealth (2)

uhead (515002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142985)

I agree: diagnosis is only one (arguably less important) area where mobile technologies are going to benefit us. I think the real opportunity lies in transforming the way patients live with their illnesses after diagnosis. More generally, mobile technologies have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of our health by empowering patients to be more engaged in their care. I think the current focus on just collecting data for the purpose of diagnosis is misguided. What we really need to be focusing on is how to engage patients. Patients need to own and control their data, they need to have their data presented in timely, convenient, and actionable formats, and they need to be empowered to work with their doctors (and other care providers) through ongoing collaboration (not patriarchal episodic care). This is the primary focus of the group I work with at the MIT Media Lab [mit.edu] . We are working to build an open-source platform for patient-centered care research [github.com] , and recently completed an event where we invited students, health professionals, and innovators from industry to build prototypes of patient-empowering solutions. You can see a brief video summarizing the event and projects here: http://newmed.media.mit.edu/blog/jom/2012/02/23/health-and-wellness-innovation-2012-intro-video [mit.edu] . Smartphones are indeed going to help start a boom in DIY medicine, but not just by becoming pocket-diagnosis machines. Rather, our phones are going to help us take control of our health.

What i predict about this sensor stuff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39140729)

In the future, the average workers job's will require them to monitor themselves for drug tests etc. instead of the company having to pay for a traditional test of any kind.

Who Will Pay Physicians, Lawyers etc in the Future (1)

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) | about 2 years ago | (#39141361)

I believe that the rapidly increasing use of smartphones and google in self-diagnosis is linked to a synergy between more inexpensive + better technology and the ridiculous cost structure, attitudes and lack of accountability in medicine. http://dissention.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/who-will-pay-physicians-lawyers-etc-in-the-future/ [wordpress.com]

Made extensive use after major injury (2)

Tangential (266113) | about 2 years ago | (#39141451)

I suffered a major injury almost 2 years ago that involved compound fractures, wound treatment, PICC lines, osteomyelitis, hyperbaric therapy, 6 surgeries and culminated in a replacement ankle several weeks ago. I found the lack of communications between the various medical branches appalling. Kept photos of every X-ray, every exam, every bloodwork report, as well as a detailed chronology etc.. in my iPhone. That way I was able to share it with each Doc because they would NOT communicate with each other.

If you are dealing with multiple doctors, you need to make sure that each doc has all of the facts, because for the most part, they could care less about anything not directly in their specific field.

New EMH app (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141597)

Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

and this was unexpected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39141643)

Medicine to me seems like something an expert system would be really good at. a doctor is not going to be able to cross reference every condition a patient has, as well as every medicine they take, as well as take things like base health and diet exercise rates as well.

so many lives could be saved if diagnosis could be automatable to the point where doctors don't have to be a walking medical library that can pull diagnosis out of their asses, Nurses don't have to keep a filing cabinet full of information about a patient available at a moment's notice, administrators will actually have a clue when something is amiss in the hospital, and surgeons can more easily perform surgery and avoid screwups.

stuff like this could really improve the health care industry. (that and a central medical record repository that all hospitals, doctors offices, dentists, specialists, and pharmacies can all play on the same page).

Maybe we can get america's medical industry into the 21st century

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