Lean Development Excellence Featured Product: Smartphone Physicals

A Lean Development is ultimately a disruptive innovation, which means it dramatically changes an industry, effects all consumers, and generates new product families.

In this blog post, I’ll examine a remarkable way that smartphones are being adapted for use in medicine in ways that optimize value for the patient, and drive out wastes from the healthcare system.SmartPhone Physical

Ever imagine that your smartphone would take your blood pressure from the comfort of your home?

Or can you envision getting your blood sugar readings instantaneously on your iPhone?

Have you ever thought that your doctor would do an ECG or ultrasound on an iPhone right in his or her office?

It sounds like an instrument that Dr. Bones would use in Star Trek from his medical room on the Enterprise.  But that science fiction is now becoming a reality.  The future is here today!  These things are being done today, and will become common place in a few years.

“How long will it be before we’re all having our own smartphone physicals every one or two years?  Devices such as the body analysis scale, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, and ECG are already in use as teaching devices in med schools and by some patients, and some early adopting clinicians are using them in daily life. TEDMED speaker Eric Topol has been integrating smartphone-based devices into his practice over the last few years and most recently used his AliveCor to diagnose a passenger-in-distress on an airplane as well as the CellScope Oto to visualize Stephen Colbert’s ear drum on the “Colbert Report.”  See TEDMED

SmartPhones are bringing new value to medicine.   The Smartphone used in this way brings new frontiers to the doctor patient interaction.   Here are the values that are optimized:

  • Tests can be done immediately.
  • The results are accurate.
  • The doctor’s diagnosis can occur in nearly real time.
  • Instant readings can help save lives.
  • The patients data can be saved for future comparisons and progress.
  • The patient can own their own improvement program with instant and continuous feedback on  progress

According to Eric Topol, a pioneer in the field of smartphones used in medicine, this new technology will disrupt the health care system and drive out wastes.     Smartphones used in this way will help to reduce unnecessary tests, or bring the tests directly to the patient.    Medicine can become personalized, and there will not be a need to do mass screenings.     Furthermore, drugs can be properly and accurately prescribed based on real-time data from the patient.  Here are the wastes that are driven out of the healthcare system:

  • Costly procedures are replaced by a low-cost or no-added-cost procedure
  • Patients no longer need to travel to the tests, the tests go to the patient
  • Medications can be calibrated based on the needs of the body
  • Mass screenings can be replaced by targeted tests for the individual

As more of these devices are available and more and more tests are possible from the smartphone, your next physical very well might be a smart phone physical.   The result will be a more thorough physical, with more test and feedback given directly to you as the patient.  And the costs of the tests will be lower, if not eliminated completely.

So, enter the brave new world of Lean Development, where disruptive innovations bring new value and eliminate wastes.

SmartPhone Pulse


About Timothy Schipper

Author and coach on lean

Posted on May 14, 2013, in Healthcare, Lean, lean development. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. There is definately a lot to learn about this subject.
    I love all of the points you have made.

  2. Hi innovativelean,

    You share the great information to others about growth of business and form this we get tips of business improvements.

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    Good job!!

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