Saturday, 22 September 2012

The dangers of iPhone medicine.

We are sure that most UK GPs will have had patients bring pictures of various aliments to them in their surgeries. These are not usually now on the old format of photographic paper but are usually on a variety of electronic devices most usually a phone. 

The common ones we see are usually skin rashes or swellings that often come and go before they can see a doctor or ones acquired overseas. We also get the privilege (?) sometimes of images of bits of the body that would normally be found only on the top shelf of one of those so called private shops and sometimes that is all we are allowed to see as the patient is too embarrassed to reveal more than their iPhone to their doctor. 

Traditionally it is said that the camera does not lie although the advent of photochop has altered this statement somewhat and perhaps it is fairer to say now that the camera does not always tell the whole truth. 

The first of the above eye images if seen by a doctor doing a routine baby check would normally strike terror into a doctor seeing it for it is a) rare and b) not usually good news. So when a concerned parent shows you an iPhone photograph like the one above, one picks up the ophthalmoscope with dread. 

However when you see the image below using the simple ophthalmoscope, not the high tech iPhone the mind goes into this does not compute mode. To refer or not to refer? The team member concerned erred on the side of safety as they had been consulted by a highly capable doctor in training who had asked them for a second opinion. 

However, after some lateral thinking combined with consumption of a few of our fermented five a day fruit juices at the infamous CafĂ© Michelle this led us to google iphone white eye (on a mobile device) and it appears that this may be artifact. Or is it? 

We wonder if there has been an increase in referrals for white eye due to modern technology? And if any such increase is artifact or real disease or technology induced disease? 

Will a parent with an iPhone do the same as we did and ignore the image they see?

Praise be to the Party for advising us all of these potential hazards of modern technology long before we figure it out for ourselves.



Anonymous said...

White reflexes in children may be retinoblastoma, but more commonly other things, in particular catching the optic disc directly.

probaby best to refer so all can sleep at night. This used to happen witb film cameras also.

jaymie williams said...

Scary eyes! It's one those pictures that I wont look at. Horrible!
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