Carnival #122 invites you to sit comfortably and get ready for a blast of the best mobile writing of the week – and includes GoldenSwamp’s post about medical imaging via mobile texting.
From UCBerkeleyNews, come news that is the edge of an incoming wave. That wave will bring good things PCs have been able to do to literally billions (about 2 billion) new people. The news from Berkeley is this: “The Boris Rubinsky, professor of mechanical engineering tells how his team conceived and developed a new device that uses cellphones to make medical imaging much cheaper and more accessible to the poor.”
The news release contains a video narrated by Professor Rubinsky in which he briefly shows how technology works, gives the point of view of the developers, and touches on some implications that they see. The 2:30 minute video sweeps away a long list of short-sighted dismissals of the potential of the mobile. We learn these and other things:
- Medical imaging is one of the most important advances in medicine, yet three-quarters of the world does not have access to medical imaging.
- Humanity can be served, with lives saved, by developing advanced medical imaging that is accessible to everyone around the world.
- The technology developed by Rubinsky is a very simple device, with a component that is attached to the patient. The device measures electrical information from the patient and conveys the information to a simple cellular phone that transfers information in the same way as a text message. The information is transferred to a very powerful computer at a processing center – and then the doctor gets back the image on the cellular phone.
- All the physician needs in a remote area where there is no medical imaging is a simple recording device and his/her own cellular phone.
An in-depth article about this project is online at the Public Library of Science.
My focus in the mobile field is in its potential for education. I discovered news about this medical image project in The Wired Campus report. Although there is certainly no argument that the medical imaging delivery by cellular phone is stunningly good news, what about leaping to the obvious conclusion that: hey, we could do something like this for delivering education! Folks are forever saying mobile phones will not deliver education because most of them can just deliver voice and limited text messages. That did not stop Professor Rubinsky’s team. Educators need to make sure they are riding the incoming wave of mobile innovation.