Using the Camera on Your Phone to Better Diagnose Fractures

In this modern age of new apps and devices to monitor this or control that, it is interesting to think about what can be accomplished using the simple basics of a phone.  One of the very first additions made to cell phones was the camera.  They started out not very clear, but the fact that  you could send images from just about anywhere was incredible to me.  Now, I don’t even own a camera because my phone is almost as good.

Researchers in Ireland are now using that most basic of smartphone technologies to better assess nose fractures.  Apparently, many people who go to an emergency room with a nose injury are referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to get a proper diagnosis.  According to the above article, as many as 80% of those people either don’t go to the appointment, or needed no further care which is an obvious waste of time and money.

Using a relatively small sample size, these researchers found that they were able to quite effectively get diagnoses through pictures taken on an iPhone.  While the results were not perfect, there was zero negative diagnoses, or in other words, everyone who needed further treatment received it.

This is by no means a ground breaking discovery, but it does make you stop and think about what uses we may be overlooking.  Sometimes we get so excited about the newest gadget or technology that we overlook the simple abilities that we already have.  What other simple technologies do you think we are overlooking that could prove useful in healthcare?