Sunday, August 21, 2011

How Can A Smartphone Help You In Your Practice?


75% of American doctors own smartphones and over 95% of them use smartphone healthcare applications in their practice. As a growing number of medical schools and health facilities make it mandatory for students and practitioners to actively use smartphones in their practice, the wireless health market is positioned to grow exponentially in the coming years. Latest smartphone advances in technology and medical applications have provided doctors the opportunity to bring about improvements in almost every function of their practice.

Using Smartphones To Improve Your Practice
Using a smartphone in your practice can help improve its efficiency and productivity in ways more tangible than perceived. These ergonomic, portable devices provide wireless web access and ingenious medical applications that offer limitless possibilities in the hands of a skilled user. For starters, doctors can carry a whole world of medical research, updated real-time information and databases in their pockets, allowing for complete point of care accessibility. 

Apart from providing crucial medical information, smartphones perform a number of administrative and medical functions that can change the way medicine is practiced. On the administrative side, smartphones can be used to maintain calendars, appointments, patients schedules and these can be synchronized with multiple devices like  home and office laptops, tablets and other workstations, making all the information available to you as one simplified, integrated database. Smartphones can work with emails, can be used for emergency notes, memos and patient records, automated appointment and medication reminders, e-prescribing, drug management, billing and policy information and prescription drug references. They are intelligent devices that allow doctors to view and scrutinize medical images, ultrasound scans and ECG reports. Lab orders and results can also be reviewed wherever you are, using your smartphone. 

A growing number of practitioners are connecting with their patients using social media and other interactive web-based apps. These tools typically require a dynamic, on-the-go approach which is possible only via portable devices with inbuilt web access and smartphones fit the bill perfectly. Smartphones are also poised to be smart health monitors that use smart sensors and smart bandages to monitor patients, communicating the relevant data to practitioners through health monitoring apps. Patients and doctors can both receive indicators and warnings on their health dashboards based on the reports of this active monitoring model.
Smartphones can help healthcare professionals manage their day in the field to route patient calls, send instant patient reports and generate bills at the point of care. In fact, telemedicine is now using the NFC or near-field communication technology in smartphones to completely go wireless. This technology uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) that allows patients to pay for healthcare with a swipe of their smartphones.

Mobile Medicine - Smartphone Healthcare Applications
The main advantage that smartphones hold over regular mobile phones is the availability of useful and cutting edge healthcare applications. With over 17,000 medical apps available in the market, we put together a list of apps that are most popular with healthcare professionals of varied interests and specializations. Many of them are free to download (with paid premium versions available) and can be used on the iPhone, Blackberry, Windows, Palm and Android operating systems. Users must check the compatibility of the applications with their smartphone operating systems before downloading.

Application
Features
Platforms Supported
PubMed On Tap

Gives you access to the National Library of Medicine and MEDLINE® citations.
iPhone
ePocrates
Information on drugs and drug interactions, helps you identify pills using pictures and descriptions, features a well-received medical calculator called MedMath.
iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm 
DynaMed
A clinical reference database containing more than 3,200 evidence-based clinical summaries that are updated daily and intended for use primarily at the point-of-care. 
iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Windows 
UpToDate
A clinical decision support system that includes access to over 8,500 topics in 17 specialties. Combines detailed medical information, expert opinions and recommendations.
iPhone, Blackberry
Skyskape’s RxDrugs
Provides updated dosing guidelines on medications, contains weight-based drug dosing calculators and informative monographs.
iPhone, Android, Blackberry
Taber’s Medical Dictionary
Contains over 60,000 terms, 1,000 photos, and more than 600 Patient Care Statements, in-depth definitions, nutrition and alternative therapy coverage, medical abbreviations, symbols and units of measurement, immunization schedules, nursing diagnoses, links to pronunciations.
iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows
Clinical Consult
Diagnosis, treatment, medications, follow-up of most common medical conditions. Drug therapy information, alternative medicines and evidence-based drug information provided.
iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Windows 
First Consult
Gives you evidence-based answers to clinical questions.
iPhone
Diagnosauras
Helps in differential diagnosis with access to over 1,000 diagnoses by organ system, symptom and disease.

iPhone
Netter’s Anatomy
Provides anatomical illustrations from Netter’s bestselling Atlas of Human Anatomy .
iPhone
MedCalc
Gives you easy access to complicated medical formulas, scores, scales and classifications.
iPhone
mobileMicromedex
Information on drugs, interactions, diseases, lab, alternative medicines, toxicology, news and alerts, convenient calculators.
Windows, Palm
Blackberry, iPhone (not on standard download)
Brain Tutor
Contains information on functions and structure of parts of the brain for students and medical professionals. It allows you to explore 3D models of the head and brain in real-time.
iPhone
Medscape
Includes drug reference, interaction checker, disease/condition reference and treatment guide, procedures reference, tables and protocols reference, daily medical news and alerts, continuing medical education activities, physician-pharmacy-hospital directories, offline access to clinical reference.
iPhone, Android, Blackberry
Wikipedia Mobile
Helps you view Wikipedia articles on your smartphone.
iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Windows 


Smartphones mean that you’re carrying large volumes of crucial confidential information in a fragile device. Hence, the FDA has stepped in to regulate the information that you can upload and transmit over certain apps for data security and safety purposes. Hence, users must keep informed about FDA regulations that apply to medical smartphone applications.

References
  1. http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/1/117.full
  2. http://drottematic.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/using-smartphones-in-medicine-practical-examples/
  3. http://www.firstwordplus.com/FWD0430510.do
  4. http://www.pcworld.com/article/236011/fda_plans_to_regulate_smartphone_apps.html
  5. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-for-tomorrow/health-care-eyes-smart-phones-to-heal-ills/article1288140/
  6. http://www.blackberrypartnersfund.com/blogs/bbfundblog/smartphonesandhealthcare
  7. http://hitexchangemedia.com/articles/mayjune-2011/smartphones-could-become-mobile-nurses-and-labs-in-the-future/
  8. http://digital-medicine.posterous.com/doctors-leaning-towards-e-detailing-and-table
  9. http://www.bluelinerny.com/blog/world/smartphones-future-of-medicine.php
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20690190
  11. http://blogs.ubc.ca/dean/2011/02/smartphones-in-medicine-let-me-count-the-ways/
  12. http://digital-medicine.posterous.com/using-smartphones-to-share-ecgs-with-your-doc
  13. http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/14109.aspx
  14. http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/technology/ed_tech/smartphones.html
  15. http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/medical/smartphone-survey-results-1073009/#ixzz1VPd7ILCW
  16. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php
  17. http://itunes.apple.com
  18. http://www.uptodate.com/home/about/toc.html
  19. http://www.skyscape.com/estore/productdetail.aspx?productid=1093
  20. http://thinkanatomy.com/2008/10/netters-anatomy-iphone-app/








1 comments:

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