Watch out doctors!
You’re now being replaced by smart-phones.
Let’s face it…
At the pace that technology is advancing today, it’s only a matter of time before your smart phone will be able to diagnose your health problems faster than you can even look up your doctor’s phone number.
(I just hope you are smart enough to add the optional medical mal-practice insurance to your smart phone plan just in case your phone get’s it wrong.)
But doctor’s can take a deep sigh of relief because we’re not quite there yet.
A research team at the University of Utah, led by Randy Polson, PhD, has determined a way to measure Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), using a device and app that works with an iPhone. (Source)
But don’t get too excited just yet because the iPhone isn’t doing this on its own. You still need a doctor and lab to draw your blood and assay the blood sample.
The device that was developed to work with the iPhone is being used to take an image of the already completed TSH assay, and then interpret the assay and provide a quantitative TSH measurement.
The Good News?
I believe the best news in all of this is the fact that inexpensive solutions like this can effectively help lower the cost of healthcare, which is something that is essential at this point.
If more million dollar pieces of medical equipment could be replaced with relatively inexpensive smart-phones, or other less expensive medical equipment, then the cost of the tests themselves will become less expensive.
And the less expensive the tests mean that insurance companies have to fork over less money and eventually, the cost of healthcare insurance premiums would lower as well.
At least that’s the theory right? Whether or not that theory would hold true is up for debate.
The Bad News?
It doesn’t matter if you’re measuring TSH with an iPhone or any other way; you’re still measuring TSH, which is not an accurate indicator of hypothyroidism.
So, it’s still not solving the real problem of accurately diagnosing hypothyroidism, which is something that still deserves a lot more attention.
A Better App for Hypothyroidism?
I’ve already made clear my stance on thyroid testing and how simply monitoring your temperature and pulse are a much more accurate indicator of thyroid function and metabolism.
While there is no good app for measuring body temperature quite yet, there are smart-phone apps that are available for measuring pulse.
I’ve tried a couple with mixed results, so I can’t say that I recommend using them over doing it the old fashioned way.
But for those tech savvy people who are interested in using an app, the best one I’ve found is the “Instant Heart Rate – Heart Rate Monitor” smart-phone app by Azumio, Inc.
And it’s available for both the iPhone and Android smart-phones.