The Smart-Phone-Watch and the Practice of Medicine
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 03:47 PM

In an article entitled Silicon Valley Primer on the Democratization of Medicine it is noted that at the Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference held in Silicon Valley, the effect of new technology on the Doctor–Patient relationship was explored.  The article states "we are moving quickly to a doctorless patient model for some things."  Patient diagnostics and monitoring are examples that will "largely be done by the consumer, and the doctor will be involved in treating and healing and care, with a little bit of diagnosis and monitoring."  

One of the most familiar objects of modern day, the smartphone, is driving much of this "shift in the partnership of patients and doctors."  It and similar technologies are doing that by granting consumers the power, increasingly, to take on tasks traditionally in the clinician's domain. A series of tools are now available and evolving — the digital drivers of the democratization of healthcare.  Sensors that will ultimately provide consumers with core information from any medical examination: vital signs such as heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.

One will have to wonder what the TMA will think about the consumer reaching his own diagnosis, or of a patient coming to see a doctor of chiropractic with a full set of digital data ready to be reviewed.  Will "checking your smart-phone-watch" constitute the practice of medicine?