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Medicine's Future...There's an app for that

There’s an app for that….iconic expression trademarked by Apple….thanks to Craig Norquist I came across a cool talk online that dealt with the Future of Medicine. I will not be able to do this justice on the blog, so I urge you to actually go watch the video to see what is happening, what is right around the corner, and what is in store not too long from now.


There may be simple apps like ones that can check your blood sugar and blood pressure and send the results to your doctor. Other advancements include virtual colonoscopies and artificial retinas to help the blind see. What if you are paraplegic? There are now brain controlled exoskeletons that help you walk – absolutely amazing!


Even in surgery there are some amazing new technologies – No incision surgery - essentially a robot enters a cavity of the body through a natural orifice (belly-button for example) to perform something like a gall bladder removal. There is also in the pipeline little robots that can assemble in the body, traveling to places within that a surgeon cannot get to and then treat a problem!


Robotic surgery – the ability for a human surgeon to control a robot (or program it) to have a procedure done, thus potentially making it more accurate, precise, and less likely for human error to play a part. Imagine this in Orthopedic Surgery….for example it is challenging enough to accurately drill tunnels during ACL reconstruction, but perhaps with robotic surgery, this can be more accurate.


We are already communicating in different ways than we did a few years ago - think facebook, twitter, Skype, and Facetime. I am actually thinking about doing virtual office visits – through Skype or Facetime. While this does not allow any “hands-on” interaction, studies have shown that only 20% of visits to the doctor require this sort of interaction, especially in the age of MRI. And patient history will always be the most important element. In fact, virtual visits in the US can be billed to insurance, thus saving people a trip to the doctor’s office (when appropriate), while only having to pay the regular co-pay! Look for this soon on my website.


Definitely some exciting stuff out there – check it out - Daniel Kraft: Medicine’s Future? There’s an app for that Video on TED ( http://goo.gl/vLyY7)


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