With recent development in mobile technologies and application, it won’t be long until people will finally be able to diagnose and monitor diseases using their smartphones. At present, various research are being conducted regarding technologies that explore diagnosing and managing health issues.
With such possible developments in mobile phones, people can conduct continuous measurements or assessment of symptoms even when they are at home. Moreover, it is a fact that other tools, such as cameras, flash, and microphones, of mobile phones are also undergoing significant development by the day.
These sensors can be repurposed and potentially used in diagnosing different kinds of diseases.
Shwetak Patel, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Washington, recently developed an app called SpiroSmart. Smartphone users can use this app to monitor lung function by just breathing into microphones of their devices. This app bears great potential in preliminarily diagnosing respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD.
Hema App is another application developed at the University of Washington. This app works by utilizing the camera and flash of mobile devices for diagnosis of blood conditions, such as anemia, hemoglobin deficiency, or iron deficiency. A number of people will like using this app because it is noninvasive.
At present, the Food and Drug Administration are reviewing applications that can aid them in their screening practices and clinical tests.
Development of various apps also aid doctors and patients in collaborating and thus in managing diseases more efficiently. The data that can be obtained using these apps will significantly aid research in related field. Moreover, their potential impact on health care worldwide may also prove to be quite significant.
Last year, around 165,000 apps were downloaded a billion times. Still, though these apps may be quite popular among smartphone users, substantial evidence is still needed regarding their effectiveness.
Some people are also concerned regarding their privacy at these apps collect highly sensitive data.
If people take time to read the user agreement, they may realize that most mobile apps indicate that user data that they collect. However, in reality, most mobile users do not pay attention to the user agreement.
And while there are still a number of issues that must be resolved regarding the use of various mobile applications on health-related practices and conditions, it cannot be denied that these software can significantly influence diagnosis, treatment, and management of various diseases in the future.