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New Doctors’ App Could Help Prevent Misdiagnoses and in turn Medical Malpractice Suits

Figure 1 App Helps Train Doctors in Weird Conditions, Could Decrease Hospital Error, Misdiagnoses, and Medical Malpractice Cases

medical malpracticeA new mobile app called Figure 1 has been called the “Instagram for Doctors.” Surgeons and physicians post pictures of strange ailments, like blue skin lesions, weird toe nail growths, or huge calcified plaques, and ask other doctors to diagnose the condition. While Figure 1 has gained a cult following just for the gross-out factor, the app could also help doctors diagnose patients, lessening failure to diagnose issues and hospital errors, which commonly lead patients to file medical malpractice lawsuits after an injury or death.

The internet has, since its earliest days, been a way for patients suffering unusual medical conditions to learn about and talk about their problems. Message boards for cancer patients and their caregivers provide emotional support, while sites like WebMD have notoriously caused patients to misdiagnose themselves and become hypochondriacs. However, the internet can also be a great way for doctors to communicate with each other, learning about rare conditions and the best treatment methods.

Although anyone can view the content of Figure 1, only licensed professional doctors and nurses can be approved to upload content. In some cases, patient consent may be required before posting a photo, although all distinguishing features such as the face, clothing, tattoos, or jewelry of a patient will be obscured in each photo to help protect the patient’s privacy.

“The biggest value of Figure 1 is hearing from people across the whole spectrum of medicine,” James Sancrant, a radiologist in North Carolina, told the Verge. “As a specialist, your focus can really narrow down, and the conversations on here help to round that back out.”

“There’s a small percentage of medicine that could be practiced using secure photo and video-sharing,” said Dr. Peter Rasmussen, the medical director of distance health at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “Any kind of app that would facilitate that would increase efficiencies and speed to care.”

The app can help prevent or lessen the impact of hospital errors, particularly failure to diagnose a condition based on mild or unusual symptoms.

“We are trying to leverage the newest versions of technology to benefit patients by helping their doctors connect,” said Dr. Joshua Landy, the app’s inventor. While websites like WebMD list symptoms that can be searched in the database, Figure 1 actually connects doctors and nurses who may view unusual symptoms that may otherwise be misdiagnosed, which can in turn lead to malpractice complaints and professional license reviews, simply through a misunderstanding.

Many doctors want to protect themselves against potential medical malpractice cases, but in addition to retaining attorneys or keeping a fund for such lawsuits, medical professionals also genuinely want to help their patients and, in the event they lack understanding of a condition, Figure 1 can help them learn and better diagnose in the future.

The Strom Law Firm Represents Victims of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical malpractice, you may focus on your physical loss and emotional hurt. You may not know what constitutes medical malpractice, but have a sense that something went terribly wrong.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is not enough to accuse the doctor, surgeon, or nurse of a lack of knowledge that led to failure to diagnose.

Medical malpractice must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. The physician delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, or failed to diagnosis the patient’s medical condition altogether which impacted the patient’s ability to recover;
  2. The physician properly made the correct diagnosis, and then failed to properly treat the medical condition properly;
  3. The physician failed to perform a surgical procedure properly; or
  4. The physician fails to obtain the informed consent of the patient before performing a procedure or operation.

If you believe that you or a loved one have suffered serious injury due to a scenario above, you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit. The South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer a free, confidential case evaluation to discuss the incident, so contact us today. 803.252.4800



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