Term: Telemedicine using iPhones

Description: The cell phone market has advanced lightyears since the old "flip phone" debuted years ago. Now, there is a classification of cell phones called "smart phones" that have skill sets beyond the limited phones did before. The ability to record and stream live video is something that has changed the game totally. It is a huge change in healthcare because it helped produce a new type of software that makes video conferencing/chat relevant to healthcare. It is what's called "Telemedicine".

Telemedicine is medical information exchanged through electronic communications such as smartphones, two-way video, emails, and other wireless devices to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine is beneficial because it improves access, cost efficient, improves quality, and patient demand. The use of telemedicine is becoming more common amongst consumers and physicians in hospitals, doctors offices, and health agencies.

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Applications: NuPhysicia, which is a company working on Telemedicine, is helping revolutionize the field. They currently offer two-way video that connects doctors and patients, alongside working with oil rigs around the world. They make it possible for the patients who are not able to go visit clinics or doctor offices to be able to be seen by physicians. Although this may seem convenient, it may be a drawback when it comes to the ones who are in rural areas. Reason being because this requires an internet connection and most who actually need this won't be able to access it, due to not having the devices necessary.

In an effort to broaden Telemedicine, it is now being promoted by offering reimbursement to those who use it along with iPhone 4 and FaceTime. It is one of the great innovations that have come to light to help with the advancement of Telemedicine. Before, MMS could be used, but now video has been introduced and implemented. Soon it will be standard. The new screen iPhone has introduced, which is a 3.5 display with double the resolution at 960 X 640-pixel IPS display allows for a sharper, and clearer image. This makes it easier to read the data off of the screen.

October 7,2011 Apple released the much anticipated new iPhone; the iPhone 4s introducing Siri, the Intelligent Personal Assistant. The iPhone 4s is also the first phone to support Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth 4.0 technology allows for faster data transmission rates, backwards compatibility with legacy Bluetooth protocols, and the ability to function as a hub to gather large amounts of data. Bluetooth 4.0 technology also supports the passing of encrypted data, which is a step in the right direction toward HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. Siri, the Intelligent Personal Assistant was also introduced with the iPhone 4s. One can tell Siri to call, text, query information from the phone or the web and more. This could be highly useful to healthcare professionals when they are not by a computer, but need to research information, or need to quickly look up someone or information on their phone. Technology is always changing and people are already anticipating the iPhone 5, which will incorporate even more capabilities. I believe that smartphones are the wave of the future.


Health

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The new Health app is installed on the new iPhone 6. The Health app works as a personal health records. The app records the user’s health and fitness information. Specifically, the app combines the data from the other health and fitness apps used by the consumer and makes it accessible in the HealthKit. HealthKit allows users to automatically share their data with their doctors. Also, it can track how many calories you consumed in a day.

All the health and information is stored by the user. The user can decide what information he/she wants to record and share. For the most part, privacy issues have been addressed. The data can also be backed up to iCloud, where the information will be encrypted. All health and fitness apps must abide by a privacy policy before accessing the data to the HealthKit.

Additional features of the Health App include:
Emergency contact cards- Medical ID feature allows users to create an emergency card that Emergency Medical Technicians will be able to access in case of emergency
Patient-Doctor connectivity- the health app alerts you if blood pressure or heart rates are abnormal. After, the doctors from Mayo Clinic will follow-up with you and recommend further treatment.
Self-Adjusting Apps- app allows all health and fitness apps to work together. It will keep track of how many calories you intake and create workouts for the week


Web Resources:

NuPhysicia - Telemedicine
Telehealth Technology Assessment Center
iPhone 4s Brings Bluetooth Technology
Apple-iOS 8-Health

Related Terms:

Remote Technology
Telehealth
mHealth


Citations/References:

iMedical Apps
AT&T Poised to Take the Lead in Telemedicine
Telemedicine via iPhone
iPhonee 4s, Bluetooth 4.0 poised to advance health IT
What is Telemedicine
iPhone 6 Health: 7 things the new iPhone Health App Can Do

Graphics:

"Improving the speed of stroke care with Telemedicine and mobile devices"


"Improving Access, Improving Lives"