|Credits to Robert Gallagher Photography.|
From a calling and texting apparatus, to your handy-dandy alarm clock, the mobile phone has come so far. It is not only a Swiss knife of sorts, it has also become a newfound medium for developing a high-tech addiction.
Smartphone addiction aside, though, there is a whole new wave of change that’s affecting the way things work in a crucial industry. Healthcare, as we know it, has shifted from the hands of the doctors and onto the patients.
Dr. Eric J. Topol is definitely not the first person or doctor to recognize the tidal wave of change that technology in general and smartphones in particular are creating in Medicine and Healthcare. Anyone who has access to Google via a smartphone or PC browser has probably searched for health conditions that they suspect that they have. Then, the more astute may have even diagnosed themselves before they came to the clinic.
This is the new trend that Dr. Topol describes in his books about how technology is changing the way the art of Medicine is being practiced. He asserts that Medicine is now being “democratized.”
To the doctor who cannot adapt and modify the way he does business, that sounds dire and dismal. To the patient who finds a doctor’s visit too expensive or time-consuming, that may come as a relief. To the enterprising doctor who can roll with the times and find ways to make technology work for him, this could actually become another layer of income.
Money and business considerations aside, though, there are three things that we can glean from this technological revolution that’s retooling how the practice of Medicine works.
- Thanks to technology, medical diagnostics may become faster and more affordable. Aside from diagnostics, epidemiology, data collection, and even treatments can be made more accessible to patients, especially to those in developing countries.
- A doctor does not need to fear this tidal wave of change for Medicine. He can do what he does best: LEARN. He can learn how to roll with the changes, and integrate the new technologies into his practice.
- While technology arms the patient with information, nothing beats the certainty of a seasoned doctor’s opinion.
In the books he wrote, Dr. Topol presented certain technologies and apps that have revolutionized the way he practiced Medicine. In fact, the book “The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands” contains a lot of anecdotes where technology sped up the diagnostic process. Aside from that, Dr. Topol also outlines some cases wherein patients found relief for rare conditions, thanks to the power of technology.
In the age where Google, Facebook, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other big tech companies or their founders are heavily investing in finding cures for certain health conditions, it is no surprise that innovations like these are radically closing the gap between health conditions, their diagnoses, and their cures. However, more work has to be done.
And that, is another story for another post, here on HealthTech.PH.
Speaking of phones and alarm clocks, the Nokia 3310 is making a comeback and may land on store shelves this summer of 2017. Rappler, Yugatech, and TechPinas said so. Just thought you'd like to know.
Photo Credits: Robert Gallagher Photography