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New health apps that could change the doctor-patient relationship

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Smartphone health and lifestyle apps are nothing new, with more than 97,000 health apps already on the market, and many millions of people expected to use them.

But what if you could use your phone to diagnose a rash, monitor your heart or transmit urine test results to your doctor, who could then call in a prescription to your pharmacy – all without a trip across town to the doctor’s office?

That reality may not be far off. Take these apps, for instance:

– the CellScope Oto turns your iPhone into an otoscope — the btool physicians often use to examine the inside of your ear.
AliveCor turns your smartphone into a heart monitor, which can record an electrocardiogram to send to your doctor.
dermatology apps that can help doctors remotely diagnose skin problems.

The New York Times reports the apps aren't just convenient because you do it yourself at home. They actually "help expedite evaluation and diagnosis by a doctor.”

That means patients could get well faster.

And researchers from the University of Cambridge are developing a revolutionary new app that goes beyond routine care.

– the Colorimetrix is accurate enough to monitor serious conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease using commercially-available urine strips.

“This app has the potential to help in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world, bringing the concept of mobile healthcare to reality,” says the university’s Ali Yetisen.

The Daily Beast reports Colorimetrix works on cheap smartphones, making it possible to quickly transmit “medical data from the field to doctors or centralized laboratories, it may help slow or limit the spread of pandemics,” says Yetisen.

See how Colorimetrix works:

Dr. Leo Martinez developed Colorimetrix He is working to release the app for public download by the end of summer.

“It should be as inexpensive as possible,” he says. “This app can substitute for laboratory equipment, saving money to clinics and research institutions.”

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