Monday December 18, 2017

Interactive healthcare on your smartphone

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By Ila Garg

So you always thought a ‘Jaduu Ki Jhappi’ (warm cuddle) works? Do you like taking your friend’s advice or do you prefer trying out your granny’s age-old anecdotes to avoid seeing a doctor for your day to day health issues?

Your healthcare worries now have a new answer.

With advancement in technology, healthcare is also getting swifter. Gone are the days of long hours in the waiting-room or traveling miles to reach the best hospitals to get the required treatment.

Now, your health is in your hands (literally). Your smartphone is not just a phone but is a bridge between you and your doctor.

While ZocDoc brought in a revolution in the healthcare sector by launching an app that is accessible by New York residents, Lybrate has recently launched a mobile app in India with which the user can easily book appointments without having to wait. It is designed to reduce the hassle involved in finding the right doctor and lets the Indian patients receive the best healthcare with just few taps on their phone.

Lybrate-Feature-Main-Feature-3
www.medicaldialogues.in

How does ZocDoc work?

Founded in 2007, ZocDoc is a tech company that created an app-based healthcare experience for users in New York. Patients in US can use the app to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, hear the experiences of other real patients, get reminders for checkups, store their health records online, etc. ZocDoc can be accessed online and also through an app on your smartphones. It is free for patients and available across the United States.

At present, the company has multiple investors and boasts of a total funding amounting to 225 million dollars.

Is Lybrate any better than ZocDoc?

Founded in 2013, Lybrate is often hailed as India’s ZocDoc. It is a healthcare platform where patients can easily find the right doctors without the worry of being misled. They have recently launched an app along with a website to address healthcare worries in India. It has a WhatsApp-like interface that ensures a user-friendly approach.

It assures an interactive doctor-patient engagement so that the patient can get quick treatment and in the best possible manner.

The most attractive feature of this app by Lybrate is perhaps the healthcare tips it offers, right on your mobile phones. It advises you on ways to eat healthy, and provides tips such as checking salt and sugar intake, getting proper sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking the stairs, etc.

Though the app by Lybrate does nothing different or extraordinary from what ZocDoc does, but the audience that both the apps cater to differ.

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Image Source: Twitter

Lybrate has over 80,000 doctors registered from across the country catering to all kinds of ailments. A patient can simply use the app to chat with top doctors of India and get useful tips to stay healthy and happy. The app can also help to reach out to doctors from different cities and consult them.

Talking about Lybrate’s immense potential in helping patients, Dr Anil Mehta, a reputed general physician in Delhi, said, “This new feature works just like WhatsApp – I can now respond to patient queries in real time via mobile and in doing so I can quickly treat every day ailments as well as see early detection of major issues. I strongly recommend Lybrate to all my patients.”

Lybrate has a video calling facility too through which users can consult the doctor face to face in order to get a better treatment.

What can this healthcare app do for Indian Patients?

Patients in India can ask health-related questions from trusted doctors anonymously in an open forum or privately message a particular doctor.

They can get multiple opinions easily from patients who have gone through that ailment or from the doctors who are specialised in the concerned area.

Just like what ZocDoc does in US, Lybrate offers daily health bytes to the users that comprise of precious health tips and suggestions on a wide range of health issues from trusted doctors. Prevention is after all better than cure.

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Image Source: Twitter

It offers users the option to create personalized health planners which can be extremely useful for pregnant women, people undergoing some kind of surgery, physiotherapy patients, and the like, in which every day care is critical and travelling much isn’t advisable.

The app ensures that your medical records are well-maintained. One can simply click pictures and upload the documents on the cloud to access them anytime, anywhere, and never fear losing them.

The best thing is Lybrate is offering all these features for FREE, thus operating on similar lines as ZocDoc.

Dr Nikita Kothari, a reputed homeopath from Mumbai, shares her experience of using the app: “Lybrate’s new Q&A feature allows me to answer questions from the general public located all over India. By creating an online reputation through high quality answers to these queries, I am able to build and grow my practice like no other way possible. Lybrate is a win-win situation for both doctors and patients.”

Lybrate is founded by Saurabh Arora, a former Facebook mobile data scientist, who shared his vision saying, “By introducing Q&A, we will facilitate a culture where people query doctors directly and get an immediate response – no waiting rooms, no appointments needed. Lybrate’s vision is to bring the wealth of country’s finest doctors and their expertise to every Indian irrespective of their geography or social standing. We have tasked ourselves to create India’s first ‘Health-for-all’ platform that’s easy to use and economically viable, like healthcare should be.”

Funded by Nexus Venture Partners, India’s leading venture capital fund, Lybrate’s vision is clear. They aim to reach out to even the remotest areas where even the basic healthcare facilities still lack.

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Image Source: Twitter

Technology and Healthcare

Due to the intervention of technology and the changing habits of patients, virtual practice is fast becoming the future of healthcare delivery in India and abroad.

CrediHealth is yet another healthcare startup in India that runs on similar lines. It has a dedicated website and an app too.

With apps like DoctorFinder, Doctor On Demand, Ask a Doctor, Doctor At Home, Lybrate and CrediHealth at our fingertips, India can now stay healthy without a single crease on the forehead!

  • Hari Kumar

    Healthcare apps are gaining more popularity as the smartphone revolution has done a pretty good part in bringing healthcare to patients finger tips. New updations are brought every now and then to improve the quality of apps and services it offers. I recently used an app by the name Continuous Care continuouscaredot io. The app is very much user-friendly and provides features such as inviting doctors, keep a track of our medical conditions etc.

  • Hari Kumar

    Healthcare apps are gaining more popularity as the smartphone revolution has done a pretty good part in bringing healthcare to patients finger tips. New updations are brought every now and then to improve the quality of apps and services it offers. I recently used an app by the name Continuous Care continuouscaredot io. The app is very much user-friendly and provides features such as inviting doctors, keep a track of our medical conditions etc.

Next Story

Stephen Hawking believes Technology could end Poverty and Disease, says Artificial Intelligence could be the Worst or Best things for Humanity

Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”

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Stephen Hawking
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking delivers a video message during the inauguration of Web Summit, Europe's biggest tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 6, 2017. (VOA)

Lisbon, November 7, 2017 : Technology can hopefully reverse some of the harm caused to the planet by industrialization and help end disease and poverty, but artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be controlled, physicist Stephen Hawking said on Monday.

Hawking, a British cosmologist who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease aged 21, said technology could transform every aspect of life but cautioned that artificial intelligence poses new challenges.

He said artificial intelligence and robots are already threatening millions of jobs — but this new revolution could be used to help society and for the good of the world such as alleviating poverty and disease.

“The rise of AI could be the worst or the best thing that has happened for humanity,” Stephen Hawking said via telepresence at opening night of the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon that is attended by about 60,000 people.

“We simply need to be aware of the dangers, identify them, employ the best possible practice and management and prepare for its consequences well in advance.”

Hawking’s comments come during an escalating debate about the pro and cons of artificial intelligence, a term used to describe machines with a computer code that learns as it goes.

ALSO READ Humanity’s days are numbered, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will cause mass extinction, warns Stephen Hawking

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, has warned that AI is a threat to humankind’s existence.

But Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a rare interview recently, told the WSJ Magazine that there was nothing to panic about.

Stephen Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”

ALSO READ Indian Origin Scientist Part of the team that Developed Nanotechnology-based Test that quickly Detects Zika Virus

“We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be, and take action to make sure we plan for how it can be,” said Stephen Hawking, who communicates via a cheek muscle linked to a sensor and computerized voice system.

“You all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting — if precarious — place to be and you are the pioneers,” he said. (VOA)

Next Story

Confirmed: Kamal Haasan will Launch Mobile app on his 63rd Birthday, November 7

Actor Kamal Haasan confirms the launch of a mobile software app on November 7. Look what more he has to say.

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Actor Kamal Haasan
Actor Kamal Haasan. wikimedia commons

CHENNAI: Confirming his political plunge, actor Kamal Haasan on Sunday said the first step will be the launch of a mobile software app on November 7 – his 63rd birthday – that will enable him to be in touch with the fans and as well as enable book-keeping.

At a function to mark the 39th anniversary of his fan/welfare club, he said his political plunge by starting a political party is confirmed.

Kamal Haasan said the political party launch will happen in a calm manner and the launch of the mobile app is the first step on November 7.

He said his fans would contribute funds for the political party and the mobile app will facilitate keeping proper accounts of funds collected.

According to him, there is no shame in stretching out one’s hands for the welfare of the people and if only the rich pay their taxes properly, the country would be on the right path.

Kamal said November 7 is a day not to cut a cake and celebrate but a day to cut canals, obliquely referring to the flooding of several localities in the city due to recent rains.

The actor added natural disasters do not differentiate between rich and poor and all should be ready to take preventive measures then acting after the loss of dear ones.

According to him, suppression has become part of politics and it is not important how many people are threatening you, but what is important is what you are going to do.

Kamal Haasan said he is ready to take a beating but he is not a “mridangam” (a percussion instrument) to get hit again and again.(IANS)

Next Story

Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)