Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
As mHealth continues to gain momentum, I wanted to share an example of how the technologies we use every day can help sick patients all over the world.
An interesting case study generated attention recently after a letter was published in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock describing the use of a Webcam, Skype and an iPhone 4 to conduct a remote pulmonary ultrasound in Scotland. The technologies allowed a provider in Calgary to reach an expert over 200 miles away in Aberdeen for assistance with the procedure. The authors of the article pointed out that a pulmonary ultrasound is a valuable technique to look for lung problems. However, even to the most experienced technician, it’s not always easy to tell what you’re looking for or whether some finding is significant. By using the mobile technologies, physicians could get a second opinion very easily.
Yet, while the system was relatively easy to setup and use remotely, according to the letter submitted, this is no way HIPPA compliant if carried out in the US. Even viewing radiology images via Skype is against the FDA regulations.
This raises an interesting point – how will the government and healthcare groups respond to the need for mobile solutions in remote areas of the US if it can greatly help a patient or population? In my opinion, the benefits could be considerable.