While some parts of the government debate what to do with mobile technologies and health care, the US Department of Defense is moving right ahead. Got to love that Can Do! spirit.
They are exploring how to develop a text-messaging system to communicate with service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The system will reportedly help health
care providers monitor TBI patients as well as prompt them to take
treatment actions. The call for proposals for a pilot project states: The primary function
of this technology will be providing message prompts to the service
members' personal cell phones from their health care providers.
They are also considering the use of cell phones to disseminate health information and alerts via text messages, facilitate clinical consultations, and track medications and symptoms. Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant Defense secretary of health affairs, writes on his blog: That number [of cell phone users in the US and globally] will only grow. So why not use cell phones to disseminate health information and help people make healthy lifestyle decisions? Among other things, cell phones can be used to broadcast health safety alerts via text message; consult more frequently with physicians nurses, triage technicians, or artificial intelligence systems that offer provisional diagnoses; and track medications that are taken on a schedule. He is asking for ideas - post yours on his blog.
And he clearly states that the Military Health System should lead the charge on using cell phones as healthcare tools - hope the CDC and NIH are listening now.