Friday, June 27, 2014

A Doctor’s Image Sharing App – The Hippocratic Oath Upheld!

A new picture-sharing phone and tablet application for doctors and medical students is raising concerns about patient privacy.

Doctors are not known for their love of social media or casual status updates. But with day to day leaps in technologies and its applications has made the profession of doctors ever more omnipresent.

The latest in the entrants to the many applications available is a much awaited and desperately needed, medical-photo sharing app for doctors.

Likened to be the Instagram for the medical profession, these apps are used by doctors to share images of cases that they need a consult on, or find unique. These images are made shareable with colleagues, or an entire network of doctors. This specialized image sharing application allows them to share photos of medical conditions for teaching and diagnostic purposes while incorporating efficient safeguards to ensure patient privacy and consent.

A prospective revolution in the field of medicine, this application will allow physicians from remote areas get consults and diagnoses from specialists in distant locations. The uses of this application for doctors and hospitals around the world are many. Many foresee it to be a huge step towards bringing the world of medicine together in its fight against diseases.

The app users have at their disposal specialized blackout tools, which redacts distinguishing features, like eyes and tattoos. Doctors and interns may not be proficient at hiding such distinguishing features, but the app does it for them.

The app prompts the doctors to make sure that they have proper consent and to remove identifying features before sharing an image. It suggests the removal of features like tattoos, faces, eyes, dates from the hospital stay, from both the photo and the caption. The redacted portions are actually scrubbed out of the image and not merely obscured. Images once submitted are reviewed by the apps privacy moderators before release for any possible lapses, even after the image is released, if any concern is flagged, they can be removed immediately. This medical photo sharing app for healthcare professionals is an important weapon in their arsenal.

What they are not doing, and this directly addresses the fears of misuse, is saving the images. The application is purely meant for diagnoses/consults and for teaching applications. Interesting cases can happen any time, and this is the perfect way for senior doctors to teach with accurate, real-time examples. Image sharing apps for medical professionals are officially only marketed as a study tool and have been observed in use by many doctors to quiz students on a variety of medical conditions. Till date more than 15% of medical students use such applications.

For medical practitioners starved of interesting cases, this serves as a brilliant tool to keep updated. Moreover, as every doctor worth his salt knows, you can only diagnose that which you have either seen or read about. The site, open to any licensed medical practitioner, is not meant for patients looking to self-diagnose. Learning about a medical condition in LA, USA may prove to be helpful for a doctor in Western Europe for diagnoses.

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Patients are generally ok with having their images shared anonymously through such apps. It is hard not to understand the logic and importance of sharing cases and information for doctors to arrive at the best prognosis.  

The beauty of this particular piece of technology is that it keeps to its heart the essential theme of the profession of medicine, the autonomy of the patient.

A new age in medicine is brewing with technology as its catalyst. Information sharing and prompt diagnoses are but a step in the great journey of progress. For students of medicines, doctors and people everywhere, such tools are a revolution. Space-O Technologies, a frontrunner in developing such applications and software is a one stop shop for you if you need such a product developed. Smart use to technology has become the best way of ensuring your practice gets the attention and traction it deserves. Stay ahead in your business; Contact with Space-O for the best app development solutions.

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