Tenets Towards Smartphone-based Medical Tricorders

Smartphone-based medical tricorders, in which a software application can be downloaded to smartphones around the world in people's pockets to use for medical sensing at the point of care, is a vision that can transform the world of health sensing. The power of this vision lies in quick software updates that could allow any phone to count coughs, track anemia, detect sleep apnea, and much more. It has the potential to enable remote healthcare effectively and equalize the reach of care. However, there is a need for further discussion around the implicit difficulties to developing and deploying medical sensing applications. The reality is that every smartphone is different, and that an application developed for one phone has no guarantee of working for the next phone or even the next OS update. In this paper, our goal is to draw out motifs around the challenges that are inherent to realizing this vision of smartphone-based medical sensing solutions. We further expound on this by juxtaposing the challenges with potential futures that we organize as tenets for how we could achieve more sustainable and universal development towards smartphone-based medical tricorders.

Colin Barry, Tauhidur Rahman, Edward Jay Wang, Tenets Towards Smartphone-based Medical Tricorders, Mobisys Future of Digital Biomarkers Workshop, 2021

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