Harvard Medical School student Ravi Parikh recent wrote an article on The Washington Post on the "smartphone physical" which was exhibited at TEDMED 2013.
As more patients read about these mobile gadgets like the Alivecor iPhone EKG Heart Monitor, will they expect their doctors to pull out their iPhones and start performing EKGs on them?
Or, will patients feel reluctant because they don't know how all this medical information is getting stored on mobile devices or transmitted across the Internet?
There's no doubt that modern smartphones and tablets are empowering health care providers to do much more at the bedside. They are also transforming the landscape of telemedicine and breaking down traditional barriers that prevented clinicians from communicating effectively with patients. After all, many patients these days use smartphones and mobile tablets and have them at home. Patients who are equipped and educated on how to use some of these mobile medical diagnostic equipment may find themselves acting as medical technicians as a remote doctor makes a diagnosis on a child with a fever, an adult with chest pain, or a person with an eye problem.
I think the concept of the "smartphone physical" is going to rapidly expand to the "remote tele-physical" as patients and providers embrace telemedicine as a standard way of receiving medical care.