There is a new app out there that really should make doctors go “are your kidding me”?   When patients with depression withdraw from their activities of life, their cellphone “can now track how often they send text messages and place calls, and how often they move and where they go. If their habits and patterns deviate in a way that suggests they’ve become withdrawn, the app alerts a doctor or other caregiver to check in”.   That’s okay, I have no life as a doctor.  I wouldn’t mind watching my phone keep going off with warnings like I am some type of military AWAC.  Forget my own kids, they don’t need a father.  My wife will understand why I can’t go to the movies with her because I need to keep watching my cell for warnings.   Are you kidding me?  You know, sometimes technology is a really good thing and advances medicine. This is NOT an example of that.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “More AWAC

  1. Kim D
    October 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Nothing personal, but I don’t ANYONE for ANY REASON to have that much access to my personal life. If it can be used, it can be hacked….is a liability for the Dr. if they used this app and a creepy stalker for one their patients hacks in and does bodily? No thanks!

  2. Pat
    October 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Oh yeah? How quickly will the AAFP jump on this as another way to provide a “medical home” to patients? It will eventually come with a 1% bonus from Medicare/Medicaid on phone/text services provided after-hours, after “quality” benchmarks are hit, with PriCare non-players threatened with penalties for not adopting this new technology. Seen this movie before.

    • Kurt
      October 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Medical Home is bullcrap. Until patients are incentivized to change their crappy habits, nothing will improve. They can pay
      us a lot more, but without the patients having skin in the game,
      we’re still on a sinking ship. I no longer recommend primary care to students and a fair number of doctors are doing the same. Just go to a primary care meeting or review course and question your compatriots. The AAFP will realize that when they have to change their name to AAFNP.

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