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By Paul Sufka, MD | 06 November 2017
On Monday November 11th, Dr. Suleman Bhana, presented Tech Tools for Rheumatologists Version 3.0.
Dr. Bhana points out that we are now living in an age where we carry powerful technology with the smartphone in our pockets, combining a microcomputer, access to the internet, a camera, and multiple contextual sensors.
When considering implementing technology in the office, Dr. Bhana suggests considering the cost, time required/saved, the usability of the technology, and whether it might potentially impact patient outcomes. Examples of technology Dr. Bhana has found useful in his practice that meets these criteria include:
1. OlloClip Macro Pro Lens, which can attach to an iPhone and be used to perform nailfold capillaroscopy.
2. FLIR ONE Thermal imaging camera, used for distinguish temperature differences in patients with Raynaud’s and joint inflammation.
3. Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter mount, to attach to your office microscope to take pictures of synovial fluid examinations.
Examples of apps suggested by Dr. Bhana include:
1. 3D4Medical anatomy apps, for both learning/reviewing anatomy, and explaining conditions to our patients.
2. VidScrip, for recording videos that you can prescribe to your patients for teaching.
3. DAS Calc for iOS, for calculating various RA disease activity scores, including different types of DAS, CDAI, SSAI, and RAPID3.
4. Lose It!, for helping patients lose weight by tracking calories and integrating with fitness trackers.
5. Calc, for meditation and mindfulness based stress reduction.
6. The text expansion and macro apps, ActiveWords and TextExpander, for optimizing your EHR workflows.
Dr. Bhana described the a newer virtual reality (VR) based meditation app that could be used to help with pain control for patients, and felt that future uses of technology in rheumatology might include the use of wearable sensors, augmented reality (AR), neural networks/artificial intelligence and machine learning.