Doctor apps to the rescue

Jan 10 2013, 09:56 IST
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SummaryIndia is one of many countries facing severe shortage of trained medical professionals—including nurses, dentists, and administrators—but especially doctors.

available and accessible.

Patients now do not have to jog their memories to recall past illnesses, symptoms or weight for that matter. Now information is being fed in with other data sets to provide a comprehensive look at a person’s individual health. And facilitating these are mobile smartphones, with tech platforms that can be used effectively to connect with physicians while processing information and data critical to the patients.

This is where latest technology like NFC (near field communication) brings in a huge advantage of minimal change management when introducing mHealth applications. NFC in its many applications, takes away the need for data entry. Rather, the patient can punch a foil or tap a smart card to store relevant information and the doctor can tap his BlackBerry to the smartcard to instantly read all the patient data.We’re starting to see the possibilities for same in mHealth.

Globally, smartphones are breaching barriers to make a difference. Harvard University researchers are using smartphones to bring medical care to remote corners of the world where people would otherwise have to walk for a day to seek medical help. Researchers are working on a paper chip that could be touched with a drop of blood and then photographed and text messaged to a clinic that could analyse it and offer a diagnosis.

The need for and the potential of healthcare apps in India is growing owing to the growth witnessed by the Indian healthcare industry that has significantly contributed to the Indian economy. The convergence of mobile technology with an evolving healthcare delivery system will continue to drive the mHealth applications market.

At Research In Motion, through our products and applications, we are trying to introduce new technological innovations that the consumer today may require to bring convenience to their lives. Some of the RIM health apps are eTraq and MphRx. eTraq is an application for BlackBerry PlayBook users.

BlackBerry is attempting to create applications that will not only make time and distance irrelevant but will also make our healthcare delivery system more reliable.

The writer is director, alliances and business development, Research In Motion

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