Docs can diagnose fractures via iPhone 'visits'

A small study by Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, found that using iPhone cameras to photograph the nasal cavity can help ER physicians diagnose nasal bone injuries, according to a study published recently in the journal Telemedicine and e-health. Such findings hold promise for reducing ER wait times and lowering unnecessary costs, according to a review at iMedicalApps, as patients suffering from a nasal trauma who are seen in an ER and then referred to an ear-nose-throat specialist often times either don't show up for their referred appointment, or don't require any treatment.

A total of 50 patients were assessed using camera-enabled iPhones, and a whopping "94 percent showed a direct correlation between the perceived need for treatment based on the clinical images and the actual management in the outpatient clinic," according to the study.

Perhaps most interesting: The entire process is handled remotely--the diagnosing clinician never actually saw the patient in the flesh, according to the study. Clinic staff took antero-posterior and overhead photographs of each patient's nose, and then sent them to a senior team member who was offsite. That team member made the diagnosis, and follow-up recommendations.

iMedicalApps reviewers noted that the more-expensive iPhone may not be the only smartphone that can do the job. Virtually any camera-enabled phone can take the same resolution photos as the iPhone.

To learn more:
- check out the Beaumont Hospital's study abstract
- here's the iMedicalApps commentary