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A Smartphone a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

by
Data Entry Specialist, Carnegie Communications

Aug   2012

Fri

17

Smartphones—the newest addiction to plague our society. Almost everyone has one, so what better platform exists for saving lives on a budget?

Games like Angry Birds and Tiny Tower have become immensely popular with smartphone users, but what if you could download an app to make sure you are healthy?

We’ve seen apps like Couch-to-5k and Nike+ help a lot of people get active, and college students can’t survive without the ability to tweet from their new favorite restaurant But what if you could use an app to make sure you are infection free? 

Seriously? My phone can do that?

Four students from the University of Melbourne decided there was something else your smartphone should do: combat an overlooked childhood killer, pneumonia. Using standards defined by the World Health Organization, the phone collects data, processes it using complex algorithms, and interprets the data according to the established standard. While this should not replace a normal visit to your doctor, it could make you realize that a trip to the emergency room is more important than hitting up that party.

Why should I care?

While first-world nations are not the intended audience, there are a few important things to note. (Parents, I hope you are reading too!)

Walking Pneumonia is very common among college students, especially around exam week. Not only are students opting for time to cram instead of sleep, but many college kids don’t eat properly. When you add on the cesspool that is a college dorm and the intense stress that can come during finals, you have a recipe for disaster.

Okay, I’m sold. So, what is it?

Using a specially designed microphone they call a “stethomic” alongside an app that will guide you through the proper method for listening to breathing, you could check for pneumonia from the comfort of your dorm room.  This “stethomic” is expected to cost only $20, and simply plugs into the audio jack on the smartphone. You could easily convince your parents to include it in your next care package—just make sure they know you’ll be using it to keep yourself healthy, and spend more time studying!

(Tip: You probably shouldn’t mention spending your hospital money on pizza and energy drinks!)

This will certainly open up research into using a smartphone as a universal health care device, and it will save lives throughout developing nations.

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Tags:
pneumonia symptoms walking pneumonia health apps pneumonia detection engineering research engineering smartphone apps smartphones

About Adam Cronin

Adam Cronin

Adam Cronin works as a Data Entry Specialist at Carnegie Communications while pursuing degrees in computer science and music performance. He is responsible for helping to grow and maintain various databases. On his own time, Adam is currently researching different aspects of artificial intelligence in an attempt to quench his thirst for knowledge, all while preparing himself for a constant schedule of music auditions. As a self-proclaimed “geek,” he hopes his knowledge of computer science and music performance can offer guidance to the readers of CollegeXpress, from auditioning and admission to résumé building and preparing for graduation!

You can follow Adam on Twitter or subscribe to his CollegeXpress blog

 
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