Dr. Eric Topol is interviewed in this NBC news segment covering iDoctor, a smartphone app with numerous medical uses. “There is too much waste in healthcare” he says, explaining that many medical processes could be done cheaper with devices that most people already own.
iDoctor is not the first app of its kind. Sana, an MIT project to bring open sourced telemedicine to the Android platform, is being used in dozens of countries. While iDoctor and other apps may improve healthcare in North America, the need for this kind of technology is even more pressing in countries with poor healthcare infrastructure. Countries like Thailand, the subject of our pilot project, use decentralized medical records software, meaning that clinics across the country cannot easily or accurately transfer patient records to another hospital if necessary. Many Thai clinics are over-capacity, serving 6-12 thousand patients with only a few doctors. As a result, pressure to keep patient records up to date is put on volunteers from NGOs. Especially in rural areas where there are no medical clinics and access by vehicles is limited, the need for low-cost solutions such as an Android app for telemedicine and remote long term care is absolutely essential in improving the quality of life of many people.
SmartLabs sincerely hopes that technology like iDoctor continues to be developed and gains traction in global markets.