Smartphones on the NHS?
by Mark Smith
This made me think about two things: 1) the use of ICT is being featured more regularly in the news and is being covered in a more conversational and accessible way and 2) telehealth is another issue that is becoming more closely linked with digital inclusion.
It might feel sometimes that smartphone apps are taking over the world, but if they’re to provide people with such a useful service then their continued development should only be welcomed.
Anyone working in digital inclusion will know that you generally need to interest people in ICT in ways that are of relevance to their lives – if monitoring their health, heart rate, blood pressure, sugar levels etc is what motivates them, then great. Digital inclusion can have more serious, tangible uses and outcomes than all the fun ways we know of.
Telehealth is nothing new. A few years ago, my mum had to wear a device for a week that monitored her heart. Once the week was up, she took the device back to the hospital where the data was uploaded to a computer.
What the new istethoscope app can do, means that such a service is more immediate and probably a bit cheaper too which has to be a good thing in times of financial difficulties.
In a previous blog post, I talked about the Looking Local service where you can book GP appointments and request prescriptions through your digital television or mobile; this new app is further progress and is also proof that the technology continues to move at such an incredible rate.
The BBC piece made me chuckle though, when one of the presenters said to the app’s inventor “So presumably you know where your heart is because you’re a doctor”, my cereal nearly ended up on the floor!