When I look at my colleagues, family, and friends it seems like everyone is on their mobile all the time. It’s not just about making calls or texting. Mobile applications (apps) cover notes, photos, social networking and now health. Yes, not just the count-how-many-calories-I’ve-eaten aspect of health but real health factors like your heart rate. We apparently now have access to a Cardiograph or Heart Rate Meter App, which can measure our heart rate on the go.
Here I give you the official description of the app as seen on the itunes page. “Cardiograph is an application which measures your heart rate. You can save your results for future reference, keep track of multiple people with individual profiles, add notes and locations, and even print out your measurements for sharing or safe keeping.”
My mind immediately started racing over the numerous possibilities, both, from a layman’s perspective and in the context of healthcare. For most of us who work out to stay healthy or keep fit, the basic indicator of both our effort and fitness level is our heart rate. When you work out on a treadmill or other gym-based equipment you usually have some sort of monitoring system on the machine itself, which can be used to watch your heart rate. What about when you are walking, running or playing a field sport? This seems to be a simple and convenient solution considering that most of us have our music on our phones as we work out and so the equipment is already on hand.
Coming to a more professional perspective, what really hit me was the healthcare implication. Take a patient with a known heart problem that whose condition has to be regularly monitored. Today, they have to make regular visits to a healthcare facility or have a fairly expensive portable device at their disposal. Alternatively, with the Cardiograph App, all the individual has to do is place their finger over their phone camera and wait for the recommended period of time. The data is recorded and stored for future use, which can be shared with doctor on his next visit. Assuming that most of us carry around our mobile phones at all times, imagine in the case of an unfortunate emergency, that the patient’s most recent records are available in his pocket!
What remains to be seen is if the App actually works they way we think it will and if the accuracy levels are acceptable to the medical community and their patients in emergency situations. Personally, I don’t think we are at a stage where such technology will replace our more traditional methods of healthcare and monitoring completely. On the other hand, it will help create an era of more affordable and easily accessible healthcare facilities for all and that in itself is a small but significant step forward.
About the Author:
Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasional puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.
Photo Credit: Image 1
Disclaimer: The author has not been contacted by Apple to write this article or compensated for this post.
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