Mobile technology saving lives: changing healthcare with simple technology solutions

mobile technology

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Allah Dad, a student of 3rd year MBBS at Sheikh Zayed Medical College Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


After remaining around average of 40 years for centuries, life expectancy increase was rapid in 20th century (70 years).Surely ,there were many reasons including discovery of antibiotics ,vaccines,antivirals but one could not deny the factor of access to healthcare along with telemedicine and its increasing role with time.It was 1920 ,when radio was first used in hospitals for the awareness purposes .Later on ,NASA space programs felt the need of video communications for the well being of astronauts along with other purposes.This led to the notion that one may use video imaging and video calls as a medical tool.Telephones started becoming common in hospitals.One could easily share the details about discomfort from home and medical information access became more easy.

This led to increased life expectancy trends following the decreased mortality rates and better managements of many general diseases .In an analysis between 1989 and 2009 ,substantial decrease in Cardiovascular Disease Mortality was found in Europe.Declines in Ischemic Heart Disease(IHD) mortality were more than 60 percent in this time period in Western Europe whereas it is much less in comparatively Eastern Europe.Similarly Infant mortality rate dropped by 90 percent in USA .Better communications to hospitals through mobiles ( such as 911 initiated in 1968) had one of the most prominent role in these decreasing mortality trends.Quick communication and response was the key in management of critical conditions.Besides management of hypertension,diabetes like diseases were easier through distance preventing the need of the patients to come to the hospitals.

21st century marked the discovery of smartphones that has the potential to change the course of medicine and decreasing the burden on hospitals by several folds.The latest potential use of smartphones is being done in Covid-19 pandemic where different governments are using applications to keep the data of affected patients as well as contact tracing and awareness of the patients.Hard times come up with brilliant innovations and this pandemic has opened new gates to telemedicine.Never before the mobile applications were used on this level.it is believed that by using these application we can have extensive medical data saved in the hands of medical practitioner.

All the medical history of the registered patient can be stored in the doctor’s smartphone through the application making the patient interaction with doctor and its management better.Similarly by using better medical imaging various pathological magnifications can be shared then detected and diagnosed from the distance merely through a smartphone.Same would go with the Radiographs and drug prescription for general uses.This would help in lessening the saturation of hospitals and can be used instead of primary healthcare units solely established for diagnosis.In Short I would conclude by saying that Smart phone use in medicine have open end potentials that will be evident in near future when it will help in decreasing  the response time saving the seconds as well as help in diagnosing the conditions that would be critical in saving lives .

SOURCES

Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. “Achievements in Public Health, 1900–1999: Healthier Mothers and Babies

 National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: with special feature on death and dying. [Accessed on November 30, 2016];CDC. 2011 Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus10.pdf.

Murray CJ, Lopez AD. Measuring the global burden of disease. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 1;369(5):448–457. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Hartley A, Marshall DC, Salciccioli JD, Sikkel MB, Maruthappu M, Shalhoub J. Trends in Mortality From Ischemic Heart Disease and Cerebrovascular Disease in Europe: 1980 to 2009. Circulation. 2016 May 17;133(20):1916–1926. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Life Span and Life Expectancy From Prehistory to Today – Verywell Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207141/

About the author

Allah Dad is the student of 3rd year MBBS at Sheikh Zayed Medical College Rahim Yar
Khan, Pakistan.He is also a member of IFMSA-PAKISTAN.He has been active in the field
recently.He firmly believes that trends of Medical Education should be changed and
modernized with novel approaches .He believes Instructors should be trained to use digital technology and to interact with students in a better way.He also believes in circulation of ideas around the globe and their implementation.Developed Healthcare should cooperate to improve the healthcare and life expectancies in developing nations for the betterment of humanity.

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