Mobile application and program to remotely identify and assess severity of tenderness and abdominal pain.
- Allows physician to replicate physical abdominal exam remotely.
- Eliminates distance barrier, increasing access to medical service.
- Potentially reduces need for in-person visits and costs.
Abdominal (or stomach) pains vary in their durations and severity. Though there are many potential causes, the most common causes are not serious and include indigestion, gas, or a pulled muscle. Ten percent of all physician visits are due to abdominal pain, which can only be assessed currently via physical exam. Only 10% of patients that present with abdominal pain actually need immediate care; most can be dealt with in an outpatient manner. There is currently no option for remotely screening a patient for abdominal pain to determine whether an in-person visit or immediate care is needed.
Emory University researchers have developed a program which allows patients and physicians to perform a remote exam of the abdomen. The physician uses the application and a smartphone to self-palpate, after which the physician’s phone calibrates the patient's phone based on the example palpations. Using a smartphone, the patient mimics the physician's palpations and the program measures and compares the two. The smartphone app ensures the accuracy of the patient's palpation and sends the data to the physician’s phone. The results and patient's pain help guide the physician’s recommendation. This software utilizes the mobile device and accelerometer to measure depths and speeds of compressions. On average, it took the patient 4 tries to mimic the proper pattern and sufficiently collect the data. This mobile app allows the physician to replicate physical abdominal exams remotely, increasing patient access to medical service and potentially reducing need for in-person visits.
The mobile application is in beta and proof of concept operation has been shown.