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Smartphone’s for Better Health

The impact that smartphones bring to our daily lives is nothing short of humongous. Its uses are very evident from the time you wake up in the morning, going out to school (or to work or play); until you come home at night and go off to bed. The cycle keeps on going day in and day out; making smartphones essential elements in whatever activity keeps you busy.  It’s like having a miniaturized computer on hand every time, all the time. But do you know that smartphones are now utilized in aid of medicine for better health?  That’s technology working hard for you!

Unlike the mobile phone that we have in the yester years where you probably can only send messages and make calls, the advancement in technology for electronic gadgets grew in leaps and bounds to bring comfort and style into our lives. Developers have worked to bring more dependable networking systems, powerful features and applications, and a better means of communication for people to keep constantly in touch. The benefits are endless, as information and technology can be made available with a single swipe of the screen or touch of a button.

Smartphones’ capabilities extend beyond the simple call, messaging or surfing the web. Thanks to a myriad of add-ons and apps, these small electronic devices are transformed into powerful medical devices which revolutionize the way illnesses are diagnosed and treated. 

During one of the meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Dr. Shwetak Patel, a renowned computer science and engineering professor at the University of Washington, discussed on how possibilities are endless when it comes to smartphones. “(Take a) look at the camera, flash, or microphone … they all are getting better and better. In fact the capabilities of those phones are as great as some of the specialized devices,” said Dr. Patel in one of his speeches.

And that is the truth of the matter. Smartphones nowadays have the capability to perform as pedometers to count calories or measure the rate of heartbeat. To further prove a point, Dr. Patel mentioned, “You can use the microphone to diagnose asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder).” 

    pic source:  http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/09/07/hemaapp-screens-for-anemia-blood- 

One of the newer aps called HemaApp is designed to measure protein levels found in red blood cells known as hemoglobin. “You put your finger over the camera flash and it gives you a result that shows the level of hemoglobin of the blood,” said Dr. Patel.  HemaApp can actually provide enough data to determine iron and hemoglobin deficiency, and screens for tell-tale signs of anemia.

With the aid of smartphones and these apps, you can’t imagine how broad the spectrum (and hope) that it brings especially to most developing countries as they would not need to buy expensive, high-tech medical equipment in order to facilitate proper diagnosis, treatment, and management of most chronic diseases. It is like empowering patients (people) to manage health care themselves as initial diagnosis for certain illnesses.

The vast range of technologies made available through smartphones is a large leap for health and medical science. Indeed, smartphones for better health? Amen to that.

Pic source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/smartphones-revolutionizing-diagnostic-medicine/

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