More than half a million healthcare professionals are sharing their medical cases via an app likened to an Instagram for doctors, but grave concerns are held for patient privacy and confidentiality.
The app, Figure 1, was set up in 2013 and is a platform for healthcare professionals to upload and share images of medical cases with other professionals for feedback, education, teaching and research.
Images are uploaded along with a title, associated tags and a comments section, allowing users from around the world to contribute opinions and advice.
Dr Landy said privacy was the primary focus of the app, with in-built tools designed to blur out sections of images to protect patient identity. Patient consent forms are mandatory.
Read more on Sydney Morning Herald.
This is one of those situations where I applaud the app developer and their intentions. Are there risks/concerns? Absolutely, and I can envision some situations where a patient’s symptoms are so unusual that they might be identified just because of the description attached to an image. But this is where we need some sharp minds to come together and help minimize the risks so that people can benefit by sharing information and ideas on unusual or challenging medical cases. I do think a well-written informed consent that lays out the risks should address the concerns, but let’s get some people looking at this to help improve the app and not kill it.