Click and Download: your app is ready to help you save lives

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. João Gilberto Wobeto and Ms. Bárbara Okabaiasse Luizeti, two 4th year medical students at Federal University of Pelotas, in southern Brazil. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


After the “boom” generated by the creation of the first cell phone model in 1973, smartphones have undergone many updates throughout the history. Due to incessant investment and modernization of technologies, and the consequent expansion of the production of numerous types of smartphones, the accessibility to this instrument has become easy and in the present times, it is rare to find anyone who doesn’t have a model at hand.

The importance of mobile technology comes from everything it facilitates. One of the main findings resides in the revolution that occurred in healthcare systems by contributing to the day after day of the death of millions of people. But how? Certainly, the great reason for this has a name and is called “APP”. Marked by the popularity in 2010 as the “Word of the Year” by the American Dialect Society, apps have exploded by providing the most diverse functionality with infinite possibilities through any mobile device.

The potential of apps in healthcare is immense, both for personal use and for healthcare professionals in their care. In terms of saving lives, no doubt any applications that contain diagnostic guides and digital pharmaceutical specialties with dosage, method of use, and complete therapy for correct decision making in front of the patient are the most popular. With them, access to all this occurs with a few clicks.

“WhiteBook’’ is one of the most famous apps responsible for condoning and providing this complete list of prescriptions and drugs that spare the memory of so many health professionals. As other examples, we have “MedCalX”, containing thousands of calculators to calculate disease scores. “LactaMed” informs pregnant women in which medications cannot be taken during breast-feeding. Besides that, there is “Medscape”, a platform that offers the latest medical news and expert perspectives in addition to point-of-care drug and disease information.

It is important to underline that yes, the technology of apps on cell phones has come to revolutionize, but traditional medicine cannot be dependent on this. It should make it easier, but a healthcare professional must be able to assist your patient in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as a lack of internet.

In addition to these more medical and theoretical applications, there are also applications such as “WhatsApp”, a simple tool for interaction between people, which is being very useful today due to the pandemic, where it isn’t recommended to leave the house if it isn’t an emergency. Through it, the current telemedicine appears and happens at a distance, maintaining the health of society in several countries.

Anyway, all health professionals must complement themselves with cell phones and their functions, especially apps, to provide the best and most updated to their patients. Healthcare professionals are not and should not be memory machines. Using technology to our advantage today is essential for the speed and ease of access to the most varied information that can make a difference in the health of patients.

References:

HILTY, Donald M.; CHAN, Steven; TOROUS, John; LUO, John; BOLAND, Robert J. Mobile Health, Smartphone/Device, and Apps for Psychiatry and Medicine. Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, [S.L.], v. 42, n. 3, p. 513-534, set. 2019. Elsevier BV. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2019.05.007.

WOLF, Bernhard; SCHOLZE, Christian. « Médecine 4.0 ». Médecine/sciences, [S.L.], v. 34, n. 11, p. 978-983, nov. 2018. EDP Sciences. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/medsci/2018236.

BAKER, John; STANLEY, Anthony. Telemedicine Technology: a review of services, equipment, and other aspects. Current Allergy And Asthma Reports, [S.L.], v. 18, n. 11, 26 set. 2018. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11882-018-0814-6.

ALMEIDA, Gilberto Wildberger de; MELLO, Ricardo Coutinho. Uso de novas tecnologias de informação por profissionais da área da saúde na Bahia. Revista de Administração Contemporânea, [S.L.], v. 8, n. 3, p. 9-27, set. 2004. FapUNIFESP (SciELO). http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s1415-65552004000300002.

About the author

João Gilberto Wobeto is a 21 years old 4th year medical student at Federal University of Pelotas, in southern Brazil. He’s been part of IFMSA Brazil, since his first semester at the university in 2016. He was President, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS at local level, and, last year, he was also Regional Assistant of IFMSA Brazil for this axis. He was member of LAP (Academic League of Pediatric) and he intends to be a neonatologist.


Bárbara Okabaiasse Luizeti is a 21 years old 4th year medical student at
UniCesumar, in southern Brazil. She is a member of Academic Center Miguel Nicolelis, Scientific Director of Academic League of General Surgery and Anesthesiology of Maringá, Active member of The BRIGHTER Meta-Research Group and Regional Assistant of the Scientific Team of IFMSA Brazil. She has always been dedicated to helping vulnerable populations from extracurricular projects, and disseminating heal h information to lay people and academics.

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