No great discovery was made without a bold guess – Isaac Newton

Cambridge Hall of Fame featuring Sir Isaac Newton (centre) flanked by the likes of Sir Alfred Tennyson and Francis Bacon in the Anti-chapel at Trinity College, Cambridge (Mar., 2008).
(K. Mitch Hodge, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Dr. Suranjana Banik, a medical doctor from the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphai, India. She 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.

Most of you are probably reading this article on your favourite little device called mobile phone. And thus, speaking of your daily part of life, this name is unparalleled.

Mobile phones have changed the way we looked at our lives. It has replaced a camera, a television, a radio, recorder and so on and thus has become one of the powerful tools of our life.

We heard “Body is the only place you have to live” and if we judiciously use this mobile technology  often referred to as mHealth, we can make our body an amazing place to dwell and its live saving too.

Let’s start with simple browsing and calling facilities which can help us attend a physician, book for treatment of minor ailments online 24×7, contact a cardiologist or neurosurgeon for cardiac and neurological emergencies, a call to ambulance using an app on their tablet or mobile device.

Cardiac, Diabetic, Alzheimer’s and other chronic ailment patients can set up automated alarm for medication, parents can be reminded of vaccination, pregnant ladies can be booked for check-up by text messaging and even can make a payment online which is time saving. Care managers and nurses can use the telehealth apps to conduct virtual visits to patients.

Personal devices like watches, fit-bands, virtual assistant speakers like Alexa can connect to mobile and track your steps, heart rate, sleep cycle and provide solutions for a healthy lifestyle.

Following and before surgery the progress of patient can be moderated through secure voice, video and text-based apps that prescribe the medication, instruction diet, sharing of pictures, prescriptions, and radiology and much more. Phones and wearables are being used to track regular vitals and keep log on patients. Patient profiles can be created, and optimum solution can be pinpointed by categorization without investing huge time. Not only it helps in direct patient management but also enhances efficiency of physicians and surgeons.

Seamless data flow between healthcare providers and patients for accounting and control over dispersion of information is well tackled by mobile technology and we no longer worry about misplaced papers, files. There is no longer issues of handwritings, prescription errors as apps have automatic checks on prescriptions and decisions.

In medical education too health professionals can replace bulky textbooks with e-books,3D atlas, engage in webinars, and directly examine with telemedicine apps.

In times of this year’s pandemic mobile technology has helped psychiatrists improve mental health care of many.

One of the objective means of patient satisfaction measurement is by HCAHPS score and mobile apps have a higher score there.

No doubt mobile technology is changing the way we heal magnificently but the risks should not be ignored. We must use it with proper standards that prevents unsafe practices and breach of patient privacy. Mobile technology is thus that bold guess which has given us a glimpse of a brave new world of medicine and we can strive to do better.

About the author

Dr. Suranjana Banik is a medical doctor from the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphai, India.

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