Times of India Trichy 14.7.2018
Patients can use apps to do basic tests, say docs
Balajee C R | TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 00:55 IST
Trichy: It’s a known fact that people – especially youngsters – are increasingly making use of mobile applications for their everyday fitness regime and also to manage other similar practices enhancing health and well-being. However, mHealth — the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices — has slowly started gaining acceptance among city doctors.
A few doctors have not only started adopting mHealth as a part of their practice, but are also recommending to their patients to use mobile apps for checking basic health parameters like heart rate and pulse rate as well as for eye test, hearing test etc. Initially, the concept was merely restricted to private hospitals sending notifications to patients via SMS regarding check-up dates and follow-ups.
In the past few months, a few private practitioners have been conducting awareness drives regarding this in schools and oldage homes. This was done while conducting health check-up for students and elderly people with the help of mobile apps and other gadgets. The test results were given in the form of QR code stickers.
According to orthopaedic surgeon Dr V R Ravi, it’s high time that doctors and the general public started using mobile apps for basic health check-up. “Though it doesn’t give a full picture of a person’s health, people should start installing apps to get basic eye test, heart rate test or hearing test and they could come to us if the primary tests showed any issues with their health. It will save a lot of time for them,” he said. The doctor conducted an awareness drive a few months ago at oldage homes in Trichy and Thanjavur where the elderly were given basic health check-up and the nurses were also taught about using mobile apps to test people at the homes.
Dentist Dr S K Akhtar Hussain conducted dental check-up at Campion Anglo-Indian higher secondary school recently using mobile phone and a camera attached to it. “This test enabled us to almost cover the entire school quickly. Out of the many who got tested, only 10% needed further check-up. So, by using mobile applications, patients will not only be able to check their health status, but also send the test to the doctors and only go to them for follow-up if necessary,” he said.
But a few doctors have also warned that anyone using cell phones to check his or her health should consider it only as a reference. They argued that the pathological and physiological reasons behind a particular result could only be determined by a doctor. “While mobile applications can test a pulse rate or heart rate or any other parameter, it could lead to people being misguided if they do not consult a doctor,” neurologist Dr M A Aleem told TOI.