The future of medicine in the palm of your hand; how your smartphone will reform healthcare.

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ihealth The future of medicine in the palm of your hand; how your smartphone will reform healthcare. According to Eric J. Topol, a columnist and author for the Wall Street Journal, the future of health and how you take control of it is in your phone. The technologies for doing an EKG as well as other health monitoring tools that were formerly the exclusive domain of your doctor and his appointment schedule is about to be turned upside down. The current system, with a bill for everything and a huge problem with low transparency of costs is tilting in the direction of us, the consumer. The current model of doing a test, and having 8 people look and bill for the little bits of your history and health are more the problem than the solution. It is not dissimilar to needing 8 people to screw in a light bulb; one to examine it and bill for it, a second to examine the socket and bill for it, another to turn off the electricity and bill for it, another to remove the old one and bill for it, etc. etc., etc. You get the idea and of course health problems are more complex or are they as complex as we have been led to believe they are? In the future which is just about here, you may be able to get on line and get the info you need about not feeling well without ever visiting the doctor which is a technology already on the web. Many of the former expensive lab tests may be outmoded by a sensor and a phone app. Your blood pressure sensor and app may be all you need. While this does not cover musculoskeletal malfunction, the domain of chiropractors and other therapists, it does put the problem of what ails you more in your control than ever before, and may start with a simple fitness band which is being refined right now. Check out this article, it is food for thought

New tools are tilting health-care control from doctors to patients

Eric J. Topol
Over the past decade, smartphones have radically changed many aspects of our everyday lives, from banking to shopping to entertainment. Medicine is next. With innovative digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning, the medicalized smartphone is going to upend every aspect of health care. And the end result will be that you, the patient, are about to take center stage for the first time. With the smartphone revolution, an increasingly powerful new set of tools—from attachments that can diagnose an ear infection or track heart rhythms to an app that can monitor mental health—can reduce our use of doctors, cut costs, speed up the pace of care and give more power to patients. Digital avatars won't replace physicians: You will still be seeing doctors, but the relationship will ultimately be radically altered. (I consult for several companies on many of the issues discussed here.) All of this raises serious issues about hacking and personal privacy that haven't yet been addressed—and the accuracy of all of these tools needs to be tested. People are also right to worry that the patient-doctor relationship could be eroded, diminishing the human touch in medicine. But the transformation is already under way. Let's say you have a rash that you need examined. Today, you can snap a picture of it with your smartphone and download an app to process the image. Within minutes, a dedicated computer algorithm can text you your diagnosis. That message could include next steps, such as recommending a topical ointment. Read more