Smartphones are not only revolutionizing social lives of their users they are also making a great difference with better treatment and diagnosis of diseases. For this achievement, you can always thank apps and add-ons that turn the ubiquitous small screens into medical equipment. Shwetak Patel, a professor of engineering from the University of Washington, says, “If you look at the camera, the flash, the microphone, they all are getting better and better. “In fact the capabilities on those phones are as great as some of the specialized devices.”
Smartphones are already capable of acting as pedometers, heart beat scalers, as well as pedometer. However, mobile tablets and device can also be used for diagnosis and treatment purposes. Patel further adds, “You can use the microphone to diagnose asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). With these enabling technologies you can manage chronic diseases outside of the clinic and with a non-invasive clinical tool.” It is also possible to make use of flash and camera of a mobile phone for blood disorders diagnosis along with hemoglobin and iron deficiency.
Patel explains, “You put your finger over the camera flash and it gives you a result that shows the level of hemoglobin in the blood.” An app named as HemaApp performed pretty well even over the non-smartphone devices that were used for measuring hemoglobin without use of needle. The team that designed is now looking for confirmation from US Food and Drug Administration for a better use. Smartphones can now only be used in diagnosis of osteoporosis, a regular bone disorder that is found in senior citizens. Patel says, “Your phone’s motion picture sensor picks up the resonances that are generated. If there is a reduction in density of the bone, the frequency changes, which is the same as you will have in an osteoporosis bone.”
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