Passivity: Excitement About Cell Phones and Health

July 10, 2013
40 Views

There’s a lot of excitement about what smartphones can do for health. There are tons of apps for people who want to diagnose or monitor their condition, look up information, or connect with health care resources. The Boston Globe (My cellphone, Myself) highlights Ginger.jo, a company that turns the phone into a medical monitor.

There’s a lot of excitement about what smartphones can do for health. There are tons of apps for people who want to diagnose or monitor their condition, look up information, or connect with health care resources. The Boston Globe (My cellphone, Myself) highlights Ginger.jo, a company that turns the phone into a medical monitor.

It’s true that there a lot of nifty things a smartphone can do. But the biggest gains will come from technologies that don’t require us to do anything special (like enter data, prick our fingers, or attach electrodes). And there the smartphone is already making a big difference. First, many people keep their phones with them and on just about all the time. That’s a huge hurdle for other remote monitoring equipment that the smartphone has overcome by its overall usefulness. Second, the phone already has passive data gathering capabilities, e.g., with the GPS chips that track location. And third, there is tremendous data generated by the usage of the phone in terms of mapping out who is contact with whom, when, and for how long, and how apps and the web are used.

Until only recently cameras on the phone were just a curiosity or a toy. Now they are used for all kinds of serious purposes like scanning documents and depositing checks. In the next few years I expect more clever sorts of sensors for pulse, ECG, oxygen levels and more to be built into phones, either as dedicated technologies or as extensions of existing general purpose functionality –the way accelerometers form the basis for phone pedometers.

It will be fun to be a part of it.

You may be interested

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia
Specialties
400 views
Specialties
400 views

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia

JohnHenning - August 15, 2017

Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep every night? You aren't alone. According to multiple studies, including one…

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being
Wellness
437 views
Wellness
437 views

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being

Erica - August 15, 2017

Hormonal health and wellbeing have received plenty of attention lately, both from the medical community as well as from health-conscious…

The Benefits of Providing Homecare in Your Health System
Home Health
397 views
Home Health
397 views

The Benefits of Providing Homecare in Your Health System

Jennifer E. Landis - August 14, 2017

In-home health care, colloquially known as homecare, offers untold benefits for both patients and the health care professionals providing the…