An estimated seven hundred billion dollars are wasted in the U.S. medical system each year, much of which is attributed to misdiagnosis or error in treatments according to Thomson Reuters. Preventing misdiagnoses is paramount to saving lives as well as money and digital can make this happen. Doctors know this and are requesting for more technology to help them diagnose their patients faster and with more accuracy.
The Arrival of a Digital Dermatologist
The BMJ Quality and Safety Journal estimates that there is a 28% misdiagnosis rate for cancer — making it a primary are of focus. A Professor at the University of Houston has revolutionized the way we screen for skin cancer with the new app DermoScreen.
The app uses a special $500 “dermoscope” attachment for an iPhone camera, snaps a picture of a suspicious mole, and with an 85% accuracy rate, screens for cancer in seconds. The accuracy rate of this digital dermatologist is higher than the average primary care physician’s diagnosis. It also takes biopsies out of the equation. In areas with limited access to specialist medical care, this app could make quick screening a reality for those who would otherwise go untreated.
Disrupting Traditional Health Treatment
As major technology players and heavily financed start ups enter the health sphere, other medical professors are catching onto the digital health trend — utilizing Google Glass for surgeries, developing apps for eye records, and using 3D printing to recreate organs.
DermoScreen is the latest example of medical practitioners taking matters into their own hands to use digital to solve major health problems.