Tech Sassy: Apps gateway to future of medicine

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You walk into your doctor’s office for another routine checkup and, concerned, your doctor wants some extra tests, which means labs, extra cost and more time.

Or does it?

In the past couple of years, wireless medicine has made leaps and bounds, and getting your heart checked could now be as easy as being hooked up to a smartphone.

There have been multiple stories since 2010 about a doctor named Eric Topol, who has been afront runner in the wireless medicine revolution. According to an interview on NBCnews.com, Topol said he typically prefers apps to medication when possible.

Currently, with the wireless medical technology that exists, doctors are able to do things like monitor heart rate, test glucose levels, and even perform ultrasounds on a smartphone. These abilities also leave the door open for several other types of tests as well.

The opportunity to be so involved in your own health care with such an everyday device as a cellphone is extraordinary. You can track your basic health such as heart rate and sugar levels and forward the information to your doctor without even thinking about it. Other tests do require minimal equipment like attachments that, for now, require a visit to the doctor.

For someone who either doesn’t have time or doesn’t have resources for doctors visits, wireless medicine could be a perfect compromise.

Think about it, what if instead of an $800 medical test at another location you could get the exact same test done with an iPhone just using a $200 piece of equipment at your doctors office.

Most tests that can be done with wireless medicine now don’t require lab tests, but as the concept progresses I think we’ll see the equipment become more advanced. In the future we could see decreased wait time for lab results because you don’t have to wait for test results to come from across the country.

On top of that your doctor is right there to interpret test results as they are coming in rather than down the road. What’s not to love about that?

For me, the greatest future benefit I see to the concept of wireless medicine is to remove the doctor’s office visit entirely.

Sometimes the only reason people don’t go to the doctor is, because they don’t like the office visit. Maybe it takes too long or maybe they are afraid; whatever the reason, if we can do away with the necessity to go into a doctor’s office, that would cut the cost of operations across the board.

Health care is about to get a new kind of reform, and it seems wireless medicine may actually make more of an impact on the cost and availability of health care than any government bill ever could.