App presented at SXSW shows how tech can improve healthcare

Technology presented at SXSW shows how technology can improve healthcare

As thousands flock to South by Southwest festival, many are talking about health.

A lot of us assume our doctor knows the answers, or can look somewhere to find them. But sometimes physicians want to get opinions from other doctors with other experiences.

Now that's possible with an app called Figure One, and it's one of the many ways SXSW technology may help our health in the future.

“You can scroll through the feed and see different cases,” said intensive care Physician Josh Landy as he showed KVUE the app he co-created, Figure One. "This is a cat scan of a patient’s chest.”

It's like a Facebook feed for doctors, with photos and feedback for cases.

"I was realizing that a lot of my colleagues were using social media and using their phones to connect with each other about cases,” Landy said.

He said they look things up  or share information such as photos and cases on their phone.

"We realized that there was an opportunity to create a network where healthcare professionals can share these interesting cases,” Landy said.

The app can be used for teaching, learning and for patient care.

"You work in teams, you learn in teams, you study in groups and everything is about bouncing the ideas off, learning to see other people's perspective and learning from your peers,” Landy said. "Be able to share the knowledge of healthcare professionals through the network but also around the world."

He said that since they started the app in 2013, they have millions of healthcare professionals in 190 countries using it.

"The ability to be able to reach out to someone in the moment that you need information and receive it means that you could access this worldwide network of healthcare professionals who are there to help you with your case,” Landy said.

There is no patient information in the app to protect patient’s privacy. The app company also verifies the medical professionals by license and an ID check -- something the company said is the world’s largest healthcare verification system.

Anyone can download and access that Figure One app, but only healthcare professionals can add comments and upload images.

Landy hopes it will mean better healthcare.

"Better patient care, shorter wait times and hopefully lower costs in the healthcare system,” Landy said.

And he's not the only one.

“SXSW has brought together some of the most creative minds in the world,” said former Vice President Joe Biden at his session during SXSW.

Biden is on a mission to fight cancer after his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

“Y'all might think that patient medical data, research data, clinical data, is really shared in this high tech age of instant connectivity. But it's not,” said Biden as he spoke to the SXSW group over the weekend.

He urged them to use their knowledge for good.

“You're the future, many of you are developing tech for purposes large and small, fun and serious ... but you can make a giant impact. We need your ingenuity,” Biden said.

So whether it's the cure for cancer, or the next healthcare app, many hope south-byers will help us stay healthy.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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