Monday, April 25, 2005

Technology trickling down

The Hindu : Karnataka News : Low-cost, hi-tech diagnosis

Isn't this wonderful ? It is a pretty simple idea - in fact, too simple. Why, anyone can do that ! This doctor uses a cell phone camera to take pictures of his patients' X-Ray and sends it to his friends in the US if he cannot decipher it himself.

I assume the good doctor's friends are working gratis. This is what would happen in an ideal world with people helping others free of all other considerations. But I wonder how the hospitals in the US and Europe view this. Would the doctors be guilty (According to me, they are not, but...) of helping other patients which would be against a hospital's employment policies?

I also assume that the good doctor is charging his patients less. From the article at least, this seems to be the case.

Till a couple of years ago, no camera phones could be seen in India. Ten years ago, I wonder if there were so many cell phones in India or if there were cell phones at all. Now, all that has changed. These changes have also changed the lives of several poor people - who could never dream of affording such health care.

This is a wonderful case of technology trickling down to the masses. The Leftist naysayers and misguided Gandhians who did not want anything closely resembling progress to reach the people have been made to eat humble pie. Wonderful to see how different aspects of human ingenuity have come and worked together for everybody's benefit.

I suppose I have ranted enough now! May the tribe of people like the doctor here increase!


Venkatesha Murthy said...

Considering how bad camera phones can be, I'd be surprised if the other doctor can make my X-ray picture out any better than the one that sent it.

So, on second thoughts, I'd take a rain check with this doctor :)


nIlagrIva said...

The article says that the doctor paid 14 grand for the cell phone. I've seen some OK quality pictures with a cell phone especially when you use a monitor to view it. I've seen 640 * 480 pixel pictures taken on a camera phone. But the question is : is that kind of resolution sufficient for an X-ray picture? For a doctor to view the finer details? I don't know.

The thing I wanted to highlight here was the way technology has begun to change peoples' lives.

But your comment also makes sense. If my orthopaedic surgeon regularly calls on his friends resident elsewhere to comment on his patients' X-rays, I too would be wary of going to such a doctor.