When I was a young ‘un, doctors did not like to let patients know that they were looking stuff up. They were trained that patients expected them to be omniscient.
After they finished an exam, they would retreat to their offices, whose doors did not face the exam rooms, and look stuff up in big fat books. In recent years, they have moved from the big fat books to big fat internet connections in their offices, but still in their offices.
Smartphones are changing that. They are using apps on their smartphones for research and for consulting with other doctors. Silicon Valley dot com gives some examples. Here’s one:
Dr. Lee Rogers, a podiatrist and associate medical director at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, recently conducted an emergency 45-minute surgery to save the foot of a diabetic patient while two other specialists, both in Arizona, used iPhone 4 video chat technology to look on and make recommendations about tissue removal.
The article goes into much detail and includes a list of the most popular medical smartphone apps.
Some persons have concerns about smartphone medicine. The story reports that there is talk of government regulation to ensure that medical apps provide accurate information and protect patient confidentiality.
Some doctors worry that 24/7 nature of cell phone use will rob them of what lives they have, as lab results and email arrive at all hours.
I can sympathize with the latter.
My ex was an floor nurse, then an operating room nurse.
When she was on call, the pager took her away from the Christmas tree on Christmas Days, from wedding receptions, from Thanksgiving dinners, from church, from family gatherings. When she landed a job as a school nurse in her 40s, it was the first time she had Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day off work all in the same year since she got her nursing degree.