Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 13, 2013

Smartphones Don't Only Entertain and Inform Us, but Save Lives



Ever been bored trying to pass the time on a subway or train, with your only saving grace being your smartphone that when you have an Internet connection allows you to browse the Web, look at the weather for the week, read your favorite newspaper and text your significant other to let them know you will be home later than usual? While these next-generation gadgets are surely revolutionizing the way in which we access information, did you know they can actually be used to improve the quality of your life and even save your life from being cut short?

According to a recent development from the University of Washington and the Seattle Children’s Hospital, your phone now can be used a way to check how healthy your lungs are as well as your level of breathing. Basically, the device transforms into a spirometer, or an innovation that can accurately diagnose the volume of air being produced when you inhale and exhale. And for people suffering from constant lose of breathe or chronic asthma attacks, this invention could help them to diagnose when their breathing is taking a turn for the worse in real-time.

Aptly coined the SpiroSmart app, it can “estimate the volume of air exhaled by the sound waves recorded as you breathe out. And In experiments with the iPhone 4S, the system seemed reliable and comparable to home spirometry tests, a recent report revealed.

An important point to highlight here is that expensive smartphones like the iPhone aren’t always accessible by the masses. Luckily though, even the most basic cell phones such as TracPhones can benefit users looking to take a closer look at their overall lung health.

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures applications first past through an intense process before they can be released to the public and claim they can diagnose or treat a disease, some are definitely better than others. Just look at Medical Advisor, a next-generation solution that at only 90 cents is touted as being able to diagnose and treat all medical problems. Also, CDC Antibiotics 2013 is an app that will recommend the best medicine to treat you for whatever types of symptoms you are suffering from, while Isabel Healthcare’s Web-based diagnosis checklist system enables healthcare physicians to turn to their iPhone, iPad or iPod in order to ramp up the rate at which patients are treated.

Back in May when it was released, Don Bauman, Isabel Healthcare CEO commented in a statement, “Our first-ever mobile app is an exciting development in the 12-year evolution of Isabel, and it was created in response to overwhelming physician and market demand for even easier access to our diagnosis tool. Subscribers can now consult the app while on rounds at the bedside or at any location when needing to solve diagnostic challenges. Having Isabel available anytime and anywhere makes it practical for physicians to instantly check their patients' diagnoses and therefore reduce the risk of missing an important diagnosis."

Next time you thank your lucky stars that your phone can help you be saved from boredom, maybe you should handle it with a little more care as it can assist you in living a healthier lifestyle.




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli




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