Physicians use photos from patients' cellphones to deliver 'mobile health'

The Washington Post, August 31, 2010

Doctors already use traditional forms of telemedicine -- teleconferencing and videoconferencing -- but Sikka said "mHealth" goes further, eliminating the need for scheduling conference rooms and reserving equipment.

MHealth could especially benefit patients living in isolated areas and those who don't want to spend the time, money and energy waiting for evaluation of a superficial injury, Sikka added.

"For emergency medicine," Sikka said, mHealth "allows us to reach out into the community and provide a service that crosses that whole issue of time and space."

In the new study, researchers recruit people who have arrived at the hospital with cuts, skin infections, rashes and other flesh wounds.

Patients use their own camera phones to document their injuries. After filling out a questionnaire about their medical history and symptoms, they send the images to a secure e-mail account. All images are downloaded and stored on a secure hard drive.


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