Wednesday, October 05, 2011

922 What's App, Doc?

922  What’s App, Doc?

Or maybe, what’s DocApp?  Why, it’s the next best thing for your iPhone or Android.  Visit the doctor by smartphone.  Think of the time you’ll save.  You can keep working until it’s exam time and then slip into a discreet private location and let the games begin.

You’ll have an on-camera chat with your physician.  Then, the real look-see begins.  First, you’ll put your phone in the crook of your elbow.  That will record your blood pressure.  Then, open wide as the camera allows Kindly old Doc to look down your throat.  Say “ahhhh.”

They haven’t yet worked out the rectal exam thing.  But as the phones begin to shrink, that’s in the future.

Prescriptions?  Most of those are filed electronically anyway these days, though you can download a copy and print it later.  (What? You mean your phone doesn’t hook to a printer?  Time for a new phone!)

Doc sends your paperwork to the checkout.  The checkout clerk debits your checking account.  You have your exam and made your co-payment without leaving the comfort of the bathroom in your office or shop.  Big time and gas saver.  And think of the “medical mileage” you can deduct from your income tax, especially if you’re in New York and Doc is in, say, Mumbai.

No, we can’t do this by phone yet.  But we’re getting there.  In some ways that can be a good thing.  It WOULD save time.  And in an emergency, the EMS truck already can send data and symptom descriptions to the hospital long before you actually get there.

If you can pay bills by smartphone, read news as it’s made by smartphone and shop on line, why not a medical exam.

And for that matter, why not a vote?  How about a Board of Elections app?  Skip the line, skip the absentee ballot.  Skip the little sticker that says “I voted,” skip the glad handing panhandlers for votes who hover near polling places in states that don’t have the sense or good will to ban electioneering on the schoolhouse steps.  Avoid the needless chitchat with neighbors you don’t like in the first place.

Also:  how about the Police App?  Since you’re busy sending medical data, why not send driving data at the same time.  Fifty in a 25 zone or blow a stop sign or a light?  Your ticket is in the mail. Not guilty?  There’s always the tell-it-to-the-judge app.

Shrapnel (privacy edition):

--All these apps are invasions of privacy.  But you don’t have privacy anyway.  And if you think you do or you should, think again -- that’s long gone.

--On Star, MetroCard, EZ Pass, traffic cams, credit card transactions, bar codes,  i.p.addresses.  They know where you are and what you’re doing most of the time, anyway.  Deal with it.

--Whatever happened to plain old eavesdropping?  It seems so quaint by today’s standards.  But something had to be done, especially if your neighbors aren’t nosey enough.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmai.com
© 2011 WJR

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