Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 20, 2015

Instagram for Doctors

Has anyone ever heard of Figure 1? It's an app that allows healthcare professionals to share pictures of interesting and/or perplexing medical conditions as long as any identifying characteristics are removed. It is freely available to the public. Users can comment to suggest diagnoses or tests.

I downloaded the app out of curiosity and looked through it for about half an hour. It is certainly not for anyone with a weak stomach. The vast majority of comments were made by medical professionals to suggest possible diagnoses or courses of action. However, one comment said something like, "What an awful condition, the same thing happened to my friend's kid, poor baby, etc etc," which struck me as extremely inappropriate.

Pros: Could be a valuable teaching resource; "Paging" feature allows doctors to request input from specialists and experts.

Cons: Seems to be pushing the limits of HIPAA - could be interpreted as obeying the letter but not the spirit of the law. "I'm not sure why this is open to the public." - Nicolas Terry (Indiana law professor).

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1 comment:

  1. I am glad that the patients will not be identified. It seems a bit of an objectification though in some ways.