Sunday, 1 May 2011

SMART PHONES - THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SHVD: Very-low-dose Therapy In Anticoagulation Of Patients With Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Supported By Telemedicine
I have recently read that there are now funds to encourage start up companies in silicon valley to develop smartphone apps to use with devices that patients can use to monitor their own health.
It is no surprise that recently Muir Gray has recently tweeted that the future of healthcare will come out of the barrel of a smartphone. I'm not sure that smartphones with barrels will catch on!! Seriously though, management of warfarin (coumarin) medication by the patient themselves is an excellent example of this type of technology in action.  I accept that the advent of anticoagulant medications such as Dabigatran might make monitoring unnecessary.  I am only using this as an ideal example of what the healthcare sages are thinking about. The above paper shows that with self monitoring good outcomes in patient who have a mechanical heart valve are possible. Smart apps and smart cheap devices (used by committed patients) will make telemedicine un or less necessary. As always there is a caveat - and that today's patients with chronic diseases are not and probably will never be familar enough with smartphones and smartphone apps.
But, there is always hope, education and the future!