Smart Phone Health Exam at TEDMED

One of the big announcements going into TEDMED was the idea of a Smart Phone Physical. It was such an intriguing proposition that Katie wrote about it here and Anne wrote about it here. Maybe that means we should coordinate content more, but in some ways I think it’s interesting to see what topics my writers find worthy to write about. The fact that they both independently wrote about the concept says something important.

I think the core message is clear: we all would love a smart phone physical. I think this is underscored by the opposing idea that we all hate going to the doctor. It’s not about the doctor in particular, I love the doctors I’ve seen. There’s just nothing beautiful about the experience of going to the doctor. Those visits are plagued by long wait times, added expense, uncomfortable situations, and often poor customer service.

I realize there are exceptions to the above, but this is the stigma of a visit to the doctor. Some of this can be solved by rethinking the physician visit (something some doctors have really done well) and some of it is just inherent with the nature of a medical visit. The later is difficult to change. The former is likely why the smart phone physical is so intriguing from a patient perspective. It flips the experience on the head and in many ways takes out the unpleasant parts of a visit to the doctor.

Although, the following tweet illustrates that just doing the physical on the smart phone won’t solve all the issues:

Just because the visit is electronic doesn’t mean that they can’t still have long wait times, added expense, and poor customer service, but I still love the idea of my kids terrorizing my house instead of the waiting room.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • I still do think this is a brilliant idea…even if there are wait times, at least you aren’t confined to the waiting room. It’s like when you are put on hold for something — just put it on speaker phone and keep doing what you need to until the person comes on. And I think it’s good to mention the fact that it’s not necessarily hating a doctor, but just going to the doctor in general. I’ll be interested to see where this all goes!

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