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Smartphones As Mobile Medical Testing Devices

Eric Topol, MD, cardiologist and chief academic officer at Scripps Health.

Eric Topol, MD, cardiologist and chief academic officer at Scripps Health.

We’ve long used smartphones for all sorts of tasks beyond calls — email, photography, searching the Web, mapping directions, watching a viral video, finding a great new restaurant.

In the not-so-distant future, that list could include performing medical tests, said Scripps Health Chief Academic Officer Eric Topol, M.D. during a recent podcast interview with the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).

Smartphone apps and add-on gadgets will use saliva, cheek swabs, breath and even tears to run diagnostic screenings that now require a blood sample sent to a laboratory, the cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla said.

“As we move forward over these next several years, the smartphone will be increasingly the hub of medicine,” said Dr. Topol, who authored the book “The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care.”

Listen to his podcast interview with the AACC here: The Future of Laboratory Medicine — Dec. 6, 2012

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