Smart Phone Health Exam at TEDMED

Posted on April 22, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the big announcements going into TEDMED was the idea of a Smart Phone Physical. It was such an intriguing proposition that Katie wrote about it here and Anne wrote about it here. Maybe that means we should coordinate content more, but in some ways I think it’s interesting to see what topics my writers find worthy to write about. The fact that they both independently wrote about the concept says something important.

I think the core message is clear: we all would love a smart phone physical. I think this is underscored by the opposing idea that we all hate going to the doctor. It’s not about the doctor in particular, I love the doctors I’ve seen. There’s just nothing beautiful about the experience of going to the doctor. Those visits are plagued by long wait times, added expense, uncomfortable situations, and often poor customer service.

I realize there are exceptions to the above, but this is the stigma of a visit to the doctor. Some of this can be solved by rethinking the physician visit (something some doctors have really done well) and some of it is just inherent with the nature of a medical visit. The later is difficult to change. The former is likely why the smart phone physical is so intriguing from a patient perspective. It flips the experience on the head and in many ways takes out the unpleasant parts of a visit to the doctor.

Although, the following tweet illustrates that just doing the physical on the smart phone won’t solve all the issues:

Just because the visit is electronic doesn’t mean that they can’t still have long wait times, added expense, and poor customer service, but I still love the idea of my kids terrorizing my house instead of the waiting room.