It has become a buzz phrase nowadays. Technology is going to revolutionize everything under the sun. Healthcare has become one of the key areas where technology has played a crucial and transformational role. The answer to the next wave of revolution is right there in your pockets and hands.
If you’re suffering from an ailment, you no longer need to go through the hassle of fixing a costly appointment with your doctor. Instead, you can get personalised suggestions from your seemingly humble smartphone.
The diagnosis that your smartphone gives you would be based on billion data points from thousands of test consultations. Tech has improved exponentially so much as that it will be a common fact in the near future to hear someone utter that they had an examination of their lungs administered by their smartphones. Traditional examinations of organs, ultrasound scans, measuring vitals, heart rhythm, blood pressure and glucose levels, lab tests, liver and kidney functions are going to task a smartphone can successfully execute.
One way that the advent of smartphones into healthcare would revolutionise the healthcare industry is by bridging the gap between demand and supply of healthcare specialists. Imagine a world where personalised intelligent diagnosis, alerts corresponding to chronic ailments and smart home monitoring are the order of the day.
Some of the obvious fringe benefits of this technology is that health specialists will have access to the smartphone-enabled medical system, personal medical records, health history, diet and fitness and will be able to provide a contextual medical diagnosis.
Billions of data along with yours will be stored, integrated and analysed by machine learning algorithms in the cloud. This marks a unique milestone in healthcare as the technology will help you predict and prevent diseases even before it occurs. If you are someone who is suffering from long term ailment like COPD or diabetes, a smartphone will help monitor and manage your health levels right at home without ever having to go to a hospital.
App and smartphone mediated cardiograms, an inspection of eardrums, sleep apnoea detections etc will become as easy as you’ve never imagined them to be. Not to mention that many medical start-ups are right now involved in developing portable body scanners as well.
While we acknowledge the many benefits that this is going to entail, it would be unfair to not talk about the downsides as well. Since this smartphone revolution means an explosion of medical data, there is a serious question of data privacy, the efficacy of data maintenance. The issue becomes very vulnerable with highly sensitive details like alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases or detail of abortions feared to be present on the cloud for anybody to access.
However, these concerns should not be feared instead should be considered as opportunities to make the technology much more safe and secure for healthcare. Data encryption and various other measures can be undertaken to avoid any data breach. The use of artificial intelligence in legitimate access of data can also be looked into.
In short, it can be rightly said that in not too distant future, the role of smartphones in the healthcare sector would grow bigger and bigger, eventually revolutionizing the health sector.