One of my closest friends is currently going to medical school at NYU to become an Orthopedic Specialist in the Sports Medicine field. After hours and hours of reading from a textbook, the majority of his classmates agreed that they learn best from a real life, visual experience. While textbooks are extremely useful for learning, they cannot replace real life challenges and experiences they will face as doctors. It’s fair to say that smart phones have now dominated the consumer market and grant users instant access to information via the Internet or applications. Dr. Joshua Landy, a critical care specialist in Canada, saw an opportunity and combined both of these tools and by doing so, may have just changed the world of medicine and social media forever.

Image via Wikimedia

Image via Wikimedia

A New App is Changing the Medical Field

Figure 1 is a smart phone application that enables doctors around the globe to upload anonymous images of their patients’ cases. This photo-sharing platform has been useful to many doctors because the trading of information has helped expedite the process of solving patient cases. Once uploaded, doctors can use the paging feature to instantly get in contact with other doctors to exchange information or experiences based on the images or cases.

Patient Privacy on Figure 1

Patient privacy has always been a major concern, especially when it involves patients’ medical information being publicly exchanged. Thankfully, Dr. Landy anticipated this concern and sat down with an attorney to protect patients’ identities. Yes, anyone can download the app, but only health care professionals can post images and comment on them.

 

The app includes easy to use tools to help the doctor uploading the photo manually block any features that may identify a patient, including facial features, scars, tattoos, etc. Once an image is uploaded, it is reviewed before it is shown on the app. If an image is posted and a user believes that the image, comment, or description may supply information that could identify the patient, it can be flagged, which means it will be immediately removed before it can go back up on the platform. Because the application goes to great lengths to ensure the photos do not have any identifying details to any patient information, it does not fall under privacy regulations around the world such as HIPAA’s Privacy Rule in the United States, the EU Directives, privacy legislation in Canada, and other international privacy laws.

 

How Figure 1 Can Help More Than Doctors

Figure 1 doesn’t only help people who are in the medical field. In specific instances, law enforcement has been able to use certain images to help solve their cases. Yet, the overall purpose of Figure 1 is to bring the medical community around the world together so physicians can help one another accomplish their number one goal: providing the best care for their patients.

 

There are about twenty million people in the medical world varying from doctors to nurses or other health workers. Figure 1 is already available in more than one hundred countries. In addition to being a great resource, this app is also a fantastic way for doctors to get their names out there to the medical community.

 

Doctors and Social Media

Figure 1 isn’t the first application or platform doctors have used to help improve their business. Social media has also been a great platform for surgeons to generate new business, network with their colleagues, and manage their online reputation. Here at Today’s Business, we have years of experience helping doctors improve their digital reputation. For more information on our digital marketing services, be sure to contact us today.

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