iPhone Used to Diagnose Appendicitis

One survivor of the Haiti earthquake used an iPhone app to keep himself alive after he sustained life-threatening injuries. He used a medical application he had downloaded and the light from his iPhone to diagnose and treat his injuries, which helped keep him from going into shock. Today, young San Diego Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer may well have saved his own life by putting his iPhone to work.

Tim woke up in the middle of the night feeling completely awful. He knew something was really wrong, so he grabbed his phone. He pointed Safari towards WebMD and plugged his symptoms into their search engine. A few moments later, at 3:15am, he called to wake up the team’s trainer. After a few moments on the phone, the trainer urged Tim to head to a local hospital.

The doctors quickly confirmed Tim’s diagnosis of Appendicitis, and rushed him into surgery. A few hours later, his appendix was gone via laparoscopic surgery, and Tim is resting comfortably. He’s on the DL list for about a month while he recovers… but the point is that he WILL recover. This is due to his quick thinking, the awesome WebMD site, and yes… the power of the iPhone.

Granted, this same scenario could have played out with just about any web-enabled device. While you and I may not be doctors, devices and services such as these are helping to put our healthcare back into our own hands. We are more easily able to identify when something truly requires a trip to a doctor or hospital versus times we may be able to treat something at home.

Keep in mind that if you suspect anything may be wrong that will require medication or physician care, please don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate health professional, as Tim did. You never know when that “annoying stitch in the side” could turn out to be an Appendix about to burst.