Lab Results on Your Smart Phone ?
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?