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Description: Dr. Mitchell led the development of ResolutionMD Mobile, the world’s first smartphone radiology product to win regulatory approval for primary diagnostic use.


Date: Nov 16, 2011

For two years, the Mayo Clinic has been using the original desktop version of ResolutionMD to help stroke victims in rural Arizona. As such web-enabled technology comes into wider use, it will change medicine, Dr. Mitchell predicts. Pooling data online will allow physicians to access it cheaply, wherever and whenever they need it – and colleagues on different continents will be able to discuss the same image on their screens.

“You could bring advanced medicine to rural parts of Africa or Asia,” Dr. Mitchell says. “And this is where the power comes. It’s not just in the mobility; it’s in the ability to link this up and get a network effect.” READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:

  1. Mobile health means you’ll soon be able to check vital signs with your smartphone. But would you trust the results? Why? Or Why not?

2.  What is the biggest barrier to adoption of smartphones and tablets?

15 Responses to “Smartphones join stethoscopes in the doctor’s first aid kit”

  1. Kristin Schneider

    Clarity would be a concern of a patient of this innovative app. I don’t believe that I will trust any sort of mobile health in the near future. I believe that it takes time for any sort of Information Technology or Robot to learn the rules that we humans have. Doctors potentially go to school for seven years, where they lean all about diagnosing patients. Once a beta version of this application is released, I don’t think that I can trust the technology for that equal amount of time. I think this because the technology has to learn the equal amount of facts an rules that a human does, and in order to do this, they have to have the same length of experience. Another issue I have is regarding the security of the technology. This application will be available through a wireless network. All patients information will be stored on this app, including personal information and history. We all know that hackers can easily hack into a wireless connection, steal passwords and equally steal not one, but hundreds of patients information. A huge barrier is the staff using the mHealth technology. This requires a large amount of training and comfort ability before the technology can be used comfortably.

  2. Brad Zhang

    I do not doubt the skill of doctors who are behind the computer. However, I just doubt if they can tell what my problems are exactly just by pictures and my description. Maybe patients still need to go to hospital and do all the physical check for searching the cause of their illness, and then what else will bring them to hospital or clinic? Probably just picking up result and talking with doctors about the treatment. These things can be easily done by email or phone. So I think, in this case Dr. Mitchell’s idea is very simple although it looks very complicate. He just wants to make a platform based on mobile devices that allows patients and their doctors to communicate and share information. Also the new program has the function to remind patients their time of taking pills.
    The biggest barrier is device. Patients use different devices; some even not use a mobile device. It is difficult to make mobile technology common at this time. So I think both new way and old way will exist in such a long time in the future.
    As far as I know, Mobile Doctor is a part of Cloud Computing plan. Everyone’s health document is on the cloud server, so whenever they need a medical, doctors can easily download their document into their own devices. ID card or Social Health Card can be used as a key to the access of information. This is a very good tool especially when there are victims who lost consciousness in accidents. Victims cannot tell doctors their conditions, neither help doctors to contact their own doctors or families. Cloud Computing, at this time, can help doctors download victims’ health record online and give the right treatment.

  3. Jian Li

    It depends, if I were I patient living in North America or Europe, I would trust this way of treatment because those countries have more sophisticated technology, more responsible medical workers who are ready to treat timely and properly, and more perfect and complete system to make sure technology is being used properly. Checking vital signs with smartphone is only one step in the process of medical treatment. Getting an accurate result is important; using the result efficiently and effectively is the key point. If any step of the process goes wrong, it will lead a very bad result. Developed countries seem to do a better job on the use of new technology. Therefore, it is more trustworthy.
    Back to my country, it will be riskier. First, the use of new technology is not that wide; as a result there will be more problems and difficulties. Second, the devices may not be as quality as the ones being used in developed countries because a lot of multinational corporations have double standard. Siemens is one of the best example, they are selling the product with same price but poorer quality to developing countries and became an issue in China. Therefore, it is riskier. Third, perfect and complete system standard is also important, more rules and legal solution needed to be built and considered in countries which are not so developed.

  4. megane

    -On the one hand, I think we can trust the results because the technology is developing very rapidly and is more reliable.
    -All physicians can share a common application and share their views on diagnosis.
    -This would also avoid medical errors had to misunderstandings and miscommunication.
    -These applications will reduce the number of hospitalizations since smartphone allow a personalized for each patient from his own home.
    Why not
    -For now, applications are at the dawn of their lives, we can say that have beta versions and their efficiency and reliability is not yet proven
    -The support can also sometimes cause problems, some applications are developed on some platform and are not optimized and compatible with all tablets.
    Technology will never replace the human factor, computing its flaws and weaknesses. The experience and the human instinct cannot be imitated.
    In addition, as technology, diseases evolve more quickly, which involves having updated constantly.

  5. Jillian K

    In my opinion, the biggest barrier to the adoption of this revolutionary technology within the healthcare system would be the implementation. I feel that for this to be successful it has to be implemented fully, across the board. If some doctors are able to pull up your records on their iPads while others still have to request them from other clinics and then wait days to weeks to receive them it will begin to get confusing. This technology will be most effective if implemented everywhere, so doctors are able to share records and opinions on cases. I think a possible barrier could also include the age range of hospital staff. You will often find brand new, recently graduated nurses mixed in with nurses who have been working the same ward over 30 years. It will be very difficult to make such a drastic change of practice for staff members who have been doing things the same way for a long time. A third barrier could potentially be the time and the logistics of the implementation. Hospital workers go non stop, there is not time to close down the hospital and conduct such a drastic change, nor is there time to train all the workers. The patients need constant attention. I believe, however, that should all these barriers be overcome this kind of software would be a huge benefit to health care systems everywhere.

  6. Ivette

    I still get surprised at how much technology and in particular the smartphone industry is penetrating all kinds of markets and developing all kinds of applications that are useful for people working in different areas. The impact of this digital era is transforming the ways in which businesses develop their strategy and how products are developed. The availability of these radiology products will make the job of physicians less complicated and will ease their accessibility to patients’ records which in turn is likely to increase the effectiveness of the service and the satisfaction of patients. Medical software developers have to adapt the platforms to allow the transition to what could become a new medical trend. The negative sides to this new technology, however, could be the acceptance that patients will have to this trendy advancement in comparison to what they are more used to traditionally. Also, doctor’s reliance on this technology, while it is still very new and not so much experimented on, could result misleading sometimes and this would have, consequently, a negative effect on patients. Truth is though, that all these changes and shift to more technological tools were expected and these changes will continue to take place not only in the medical industry but everywhere else.

  7. Rayelle D

    Many barriers are involved with implementing this sort of technology in the healthcare system. If the average person can use their smart phone at home or on the go to check what is wrong with them then I believe the volume of information that hospital staff will have to go through will be tremendous. We simply do not have the man power, or money to supply enough people to do this effectively. Now with that being said, with more research it most likely could be done with the use of programs and technology that we have today. Another barrier would be consistency. If one hospital adopts these new ways, than in order to be successful everyone has to implement it. If a patient goes to one hospital one week and gets immediate results but than a month later they go to a different hospital and have to wait a week for their results they are not going to be happy.

  8. Meagan

    The use of smart phones in the hospitals is a good idea in cases that it can be easier to go see a patient and bring the X rays and the test results and be able to show them to the patient and give answers to patients faster. The main question however is if they are reliable and if you would trust the results. The only problem with using electronics is that first of all you can’t take them everywhere because not everywhere has an internet connection, if the internet was no longer a concern then hospitals would have to be worried about hackers. Since hackers can crack almost any code could you really trust that the background you have on a person is true or if it had been modified. Also in a power outage you would not be able to access the patients file in case of an emergency. But technology has improved a lot over the years that using smart phones could be more accurate when dealing with information cause your doctor could look up recent information that has been updated in seconds. It would definitely make everything faster and have less wait times while in emerge and possibly less need for emerge if doctors could help their clients from home. So are smart phones trustworthy? They are in some ways and are not in others.

  9. Ellen H

    Personally I would doubt the results. Technology is just as fallible as human beings, perhaps more so because it is only as good as the person who designed/taught it. Too, the data would be transferred over a wireless network. Content on the internet is never truly secure. As quickly as technicians learn to protect and encode, hackers learn to circumvent and overcome. Viruses can attack a network making it unusable, or present fraudulent information as fact. Worms, spyware, malware, and other forms of internet based attacks could have devastating results on the industry if people with extreme medical conditions were depending on it. If the technology does not get frequent updates, it could provide fraudulent information to patients much in the same way GPS sometimes tells you to turn left where a building is currently standing. In order for the technology to work, it would have to be closely monitored by professionals to ensure it is functioning properly and be absolutely free from outside attack. My medical information is incredibly personal. Choices I make for my life are extremely dependent on my general state of health at the time and I don’t trust an app to help me make those choices.

  10. Matt B

    Technology is being used in everything we do in life it seems like. Mobile Smartphone’s and ipads are now being used to check vital signs of doctors’ patients. I’m really not too sure which way to lean on this subject because we all know how technology can crap out on us. Could you imagine if a doctor was working on a patient and all of a sudden the connection on the apps that they used broke down? If it did I would hope that doctors didn’t rely on just technology and knew what to do to check without using it as a backup. But at the same time I think it’s a good idea to introduce because all of the information they need is right in the palm of their hand. They don’t need to flip through pages trying to find what they need to. The biggest barrier to the adoption of Smartphone’s and tablets is the medical software developers haven’t imported their products on to platforms like the Blackberry. They’re creating their own software for mobile devices. I believe there should only be one source that all these institutions can get information from. That way everyone is able to have the same software to learn and use from.

  11. Destiny S

    The medical industry is slowly making its way onto smartphones and into the smartphone application market. By being able to access patient documents and files on a doctors cellular device, the doctor can make a diagnosis quicker. Data is often pooled, therefore allowing physicians’ access to these documents anywhere and whenever they require the information. The intent of these applications is to bring medical capabilities to third world countries and rural areas that do not necessarily have access to modern medicine. The article mentions that smartphones aid in communication, which is often a source of error in the medical field. Furthermore, smartphones and medical applications can be used to monitor patients who are not in the hospital under direct doctor care; keeping hospitals free of patient back up. Finally, the doctor-patient relationship is enhanced and becomes more personal by allowing patients to view images on a cellular phone in their hospital room.

  12. Hassan Al Sarrar

    First of all, the smartphones industry has proven their beneficial shift in today’s society in almost every aspect and activity. This is was the first time for me to know that it being used in the hospital for purposes other than communication. And for the case whether to trust their results or not, I think it is being developed by professional and expert in the field of medicine and many prototype would be tested prior to final submission of it. That why most of medicine field budgets goes towards the research and development department. As mentioned in the article medical software developers haven’t imported their products on to platforms such as BlackBerry and iPad which could be the most barriers faces the smartphones in the medicine field. Worth to mention, as everybody knows that pagers are the main communication tool within a hospital doctors which has proven during the year the lack of their ability of a quick respond where smartphone would be much more professional and beneficial in today’s medical settings. That is also bringing to my mind how this is involving the cloud computing technology in the medicine field as well. Now, doctors using this new apps and software can go online and start reviewing there patient file. Patient from home could be connected to the hospital at all time as well and run some of their sophisticated medical machine at home rather than having a nurse occupying the patient at all times

  13. Erin

    I think that I would trust the results, because the algorithms that are developed are the ones that are being used by doctors in the real world today. Going to the doctor does not mean that your problems are solved; they often have to go through extensive testing, or recommend you to someone else in order to figure out what is the matter. Countless times patients have been upset with how their doctor did not take them seriously, and then their symptons turned into something far worse. I cannot say that the medical industry is entirely reliable at present, and how could it possibly be? Every person reacts differently to things, and for a doctor to always be right is next to impossible. This use of technology could help patients to learn more about their health and know what symptons to be looking for. If they find that they have many symptons and that their vital signs are showing they need care, they can then seek it. It has the potential to greatly decrease the amount of people in the waiting room, who are waiting to be told they have the flu.

  14. Bubba_34

    Mobile health means you’ll soon be able to check vital signs with your smart phone. But would you trust the results? I personally wouldn’t trust the data that would be presented to me through a smart phone, not just yet. To leave such an important thing as health on a small and not yet stable device as smart phones would be foolish. In today’s society we are just breaking through the first barrier of what smart phones can do. The smart phone age still has a long was to go though. If you look for instance just a couple of years ago smart phone were an uncommon thing, now you see everybody have one, whether they are 10 or 50 years of age. There are some benefits to having such a device though. For instance the images could be viewed any where in the world. This would make doctor consults a lot easier and more efficient. Another thing would be that it would be able to be mobilized, such as if you are a doctor without borders you could take these devices to Africa and help the unfortunate people there. The biggest barrier for using tablets and smart phones for such a use would be that the technologies just aren’t there yet. If someone were to manufacture this it would be at such a high cost, nobody would want to pay for it

  15. Moire Hogg

    With the advancement and acceptance of M-Health devices by government regulatory bodies I would trust the results of a doctor or nurse checking my vital signs. The biggest reason why is either a doctor or nurse is reviewing the information and I would assume if something did not look right that a double check by a human would be initiated. Having a patients vitals readily available and portable is useful for nurses, who can have as much information possible at the bedside making it easier to manage a large number of patients in their Ward. M-Health devices that are linked to sensors and can communicate emergencies directly to other mobile devices is faster and more effective than a beeping sound in a patients room at a hospital or at a patients home. Communication and assistance between patient and a professional can be more instant.

    The biggest barrier to the adoption of smartphones and tablets would be software. For there to be proper sharing of information and doctors helping other doctors, troubles come from incompatible software. Since medical software companies have not kept up with the increased use of M-Health devices medical practitioners have taken it upon themselves to create their own applications. For networking to work properly, especially with doctors from other parts of the world, software compatibility would be critical for global success. Within an individual hospital or health region this would not likely be an issue. One other element to consider is the privacy of patient’s information. This would need to remain in tact regardless of the technology utilized by the medical profession.

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