Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Digitisation of health care coming to Australia -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: Health applications on smart phones are changing the way people manage their personal health.

There are now more than 10,000 apps available, as Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Advocates refer to it as the digitization of health care.

Sometime in the near future, biosensors applied to the body will be able to measure almost anything, including blood pressure, glucose, and oxygen concentration in the blood.

The data could then be sent wirelessly through smart phones to doctors, giving them a panoramic, high definition view of a patient that doctors can use to assess and manage a disease.

Soon medical appointments won't need to be done in person, but through Skype and FaceTime.

Some doctors carry pocket ultrasound devices for listening to the heart. The information can be shared with a patient in real time.

There are already well over 10,000 apps for phones which help people monitor their health.

Dr Joanne Curry has developed award winning health apps for the University of Western Sydney.

JOANNE CURRY: So some will come and some will go but in general the volume of health apps across the board is consistently growing.

ALISON CALDWELL: How do they work, can you give us an example?

JOANNE CURRY: If you're talking about the personal wellness type and personal fitness apps, they ask you to record whenever you do a particular activity, how long that activity is, and the intensity of that activity. And then they can give you some feedback such as how many calories you've probably used and they can even do things such as suggest the new diet that help you to hit the goals that you have previously input to the app.

ELEANOR HALL: What about the ones, the apps that are available to monitor blood glucose levels?

JOANNE CURRY: This is a very important and growing area for good proactive monitoring of one's health. If you can get the patient to actually monitor their condition more frequently while they're at home, you can capture things like their dizzy spells or their periods of inactivity, and you can also then get them to do blood glucose monitoring and compare that against the actual clinical conditions that they're exhibiting.

And so then you can start to say to them, well, you always have a dip at, say, two o'clock in the afternoon. We suggest that at that time you might try and take it a bit easier, have something light to eat to keep your blood sugar levels at an appropriate level.

Of course, you know, if we can get our patient to be more aware of their own activities and their wellness we could alleviate a hospital admission, and hospital admissions are very expensive and that's what clogs up our system.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Joanne Curry, ending that report from Alison Caldwell.