Apps emerging new health tool
Friday, May 9, 2014
Mobiles may emerge as one of the best instruments to control heart diseases. A study done by a San Francisco-based cardiologist, who was born in Vile Parle and studied at KEM Hospital in Parel, was presented at the ongoing World Congress of Cardiology in Melbourne, showing how this can be done. E-health or the use of healthcare mobile applications could help manage the chronically sick in places where patients were poor or there were very few doctors, said a press release from the Congress.
Dr Dhruv Kazi and his colleagues at the University of California in San Francisco developed the mobile app in Kannada and tested it on 110 severe heart patients at Naryana Hrudalaya in Bangalore. Through the app, they could not only access diagnostic tests, but also got reminders or voice messages to take blood-thinning medicines that could prevent stroke. The app’s website says their risk of stroke was reduced by 37%.
Dr Kazi told TOI that m-health has immense potential in India where doctors are very few. “We have some of the highest rates of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in the world, but have only six physicians per 10,000 people (compared to 25 in the US or 28 in the UK),” he said in an email. But India has 900 million mobile subscriptions. “Smartly designed apps that are validated in clinical trials have the potential to change the way we deliver healthcare, by expanding access, improving quality and lowering costs,” he added.