Friday, July 17, 2015

This week in ePharma: Feeling ill? Call your doc on Skype or check your symptoms on Figure 1, an Instagram-like app for doctors

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Social media is drastically changing the way we consume and share information. In 2014 alone the use of social media by adults in the U.S. reached 73% (from 42% in the previous year.) And this number is still growing steadily. These days many fields and industries find it important to provide coverage in social media; it didn't escape healthcare and medical fields.

With many visually focused social media platforms on the market there is now the one that is specifically built for doctors. Figure 1 is a mobile app that enables a thought exchange between doctors across the globe in real time. The idea behind the Figure 1 app is similar to Instagram, where people can upload photos and leave comments, the difference is everyone can download the app but not everyone can create content on it. Figure 1 implements an option of account authentication, and only verified medical professionals can share information to enforce its validity and anonymity. Another, characteristic that Figure 1 features, is the ability to locate a medical professional in your area. The app is said to aim for a bigger goal of distributing knowledge across the international medical community.

Most of us know our family history going a few generations back. But do you know your family's history of deceases? is set to provide you with that. It just launched in a beta version. The premise of the website it to employ research and expert knowledge to make predictions and suggest preventative measures for users with family history of disorders. For that, Ancestry Health is partnering with 23andMe to use their database information of opted in and consented users.

"Virtual medicine in every house!" could be a slogan for the next news topic. As healthcare rapidly advancing online, it made it possible for doctors' consultations over the Skype. As it was reported in The New York Times, there are more and more doctors willing jump on a quick Skype call - consultation, and more and more patients leaning toward exactly this type of medical assistance instead of paying a visit to a hospital. The pros of virtual medical assistance are the ability to identify and diagnose minor health issues and get a medical assistance on the spot - a drugs prescription can be sent to your local pharmacy right away. The cons are the debatable accuracy of such diagnostics, and lack of insurance coverage still.

Lastly, good news for health-oriented Samsung users: the phone claims to now allow to track body fat with four sensors installed on the device's case. This technology has just been patented and is not yet available. But as stated in Tech Times, if the technology proves to work it will be the first of the kind, since no phone app yet has claimed to be able to track body fat.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up! 

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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at
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