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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Lab Results on Your Smart Phone ?

Published January 8, 2012 4:11 PM by Glen McDaniel

With the increased use of the smartphone for everything from browsing the Internet to taking pictures, it is entirely reasonable that in the very near future, it will be a common practice to receive laboratory results and other medical information  from a smart phone.

I like to consider myself an early adopter of electronics. When a new item or trend hits, if I do not personally have it or use it, at least I know what it is; and I am certainly not afraid of it. I do not think it means the end of tradition as we know it.   Over the last few weeks I have been reminded again how much we increasingly rely on our smartphones. Using them to make and receive phone calls is really the least of it. Over Christmas, I went shopping with some young friends and realized that tnot one of them used the car's GPS to navigate around town. They relied on some app on their phone.They did not drag around sales leaflets and coupons ; they used QR (quick response) codes stored on their phones.

 They used applications like Yelp  to find items of interest and to track down ever-changing deals in nearby stores.

I was introduced to Tango to make video telephone calls just a few weeks ago. Today, a friend on his way to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as a journalist is using an app called Social Cam to shoot video progress reports and post them to Facebook in real time.

As scientists we operate sophisticated, complicated equipment all day. We troubleshoot and use critical judgment. Yet, possibly because of the aging of the MLS workforce, many of us shy away from newer consumer electronics and hesitate to embrace them fully. This is a mistake, I think.

Electronic medical records (EMR), physician portals and even internet-based medical results portal are so 2011! Increasingly we will be using smartphones to report medical information to our patients and physicians; and to access our own information.

As Dr Jon Cohen, Senior VP and Chief medical Officer at Quest Diagnostics indicated in an interview recently, "Lab results, personal health information, medical insurance information - this is the type of information patients need when on-the-go and making decisions with their physician. It's more useful on a mobile phone."

 His company is working on using an app called Gazelle. The smartphone application allows users to bring together lab results from their various care providers and enables the user to email or fax their results right from the app.

The possibilities are exciting and endless.  How do you use your smartphone at work?  What possibilities do you see for the use of smartphones by you and/or your organization?

2 comments

I swear I use my smartphone for everything. I rarely use my laptop to access the net or Facebook anymore. I have all my emails forwarded to my cell phone. If I am in a conversation and there is any unsurety or disagreement, I just Google using my phone to find teh answer. I know a friend who does banking on his phone. He has not had any problems yet. I can totally see Smartphones being used in the way you describe Glen

Maria O January 11, 2012 5:51 PM
Galveston TX

I am one of those old fogeys that dont trust new technology. Anything which is wireless I feel means someone could steal your valuable information. I love instruments that you see touch and operate. You see where they are plugged into the wall. But I would be very hesitant to have my own personal information sent on a phone.

I know technology is getting better but it seems like as soon as I catch up it changes again.

Jerselyn Carter January 8, 2012 6:26 PM
Patterson NJ

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