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Increased adoption of smartphone technology by the general public has opened up an exciting new means by which healthcare professionals can interact with their patients . The smartphone’s unique ability to combine mobile communication and computation offers a novel modality by which physicians can deliver healthcare interventions to their patients. Thus, it is no wonder that the use of smartphones in healthcare settings (so called “m-health”) has become the focus of widespread interest amongst healthcare professionals, with many smartphone-based medical applications already in widespread use amongst physicians and patients .
Leading the charge in this m-health revolution is Dr. Jennifer Stinson, a nurse clinician scientist based at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, who aims to capitalize on the popularity of smartphones among adolescents . Dr. Stinson is a pioneer in the field of m-health, creating one of the first electronic pain diaries using the Palm Tungsten PDA to help adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) related pain . More recently, she has created the “Pain Squad” smartphone-based app, a multiple award-winning pain measurement tool for children and adolescents with cancer .
I was able to speak with Dr. Stinson about her experience with m-health, her views about the future of m-health, and her advice for interested healthcare professionals and trainees who want to integrate mobile technology into their own patient care. The following is an edited version of that conversation.
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