As I browse the internet looking at different healthcare gadgets and apps and devices the information that I find is almost exclusively “kool-aid”. By that I mean that the information is provided by the developer to tell you what it is supposed to do, or what was demonstrated in controlled testing. If you look at very many technology releases you will find that no matter how many tests you put something through, consumers will prove your claims contrary in one way or another.
So it was extremely refreshing when I came across a blog post from Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC about how an iPhone app that he uses prevented a visit for one of his patients to the ER. Dr. Fisher is a cardiologist with a specialty in cardiac electrophysiology, or heart rhythm disorders.
The app that he used is the Medtronic Carelink app which is available for free on the Apple iTunes App store for licensed care providers. The app allows doctors to receive information about their patients from essentially anywhere allowing them to direct the patient to the proper course of action. In the case he records it prevented a trip to the ER, but ultimately led to a revision of the patient’s care.
The post uses a lot of words that may only mean something to a cardiologist, but the moral of the story is valuable to anyone that may be considering using a mobile application: when they are developed and used properly apps can be an extremely useful tool to patients and doctors. In this instance it saved a trip to the ER, it is not unreasonable to think that it eventually could save a life.