With the emergence of mobile applications for instant messaging and data transfer, doctors have adopted these software technologies to better serve the patients especially in times of emergency. Colleagues have the possibility to send a photo of x-ray, cross sections and wound or any other medical data via these platforms to seek advice, approval or precaution prior to deciding on a set of medical diagnosis. This process has shown convenience for certain doctors in order to shorten the time needed for a medical procedure.
It is all good and smooth, but let us not forget the dark side of such practice. There are hindrances of these existing platforms which could be:
(1) the personal and professional contacts are shuffled in one platform, thus, disordering the barrier between personal and professional cyber transaction.
(2) The media files that are transmitted and received are not segregated according to its type and other signifying labels, thus, the media in the doctor’s phone are merged with other personal media files.
(3) The doctors have no way to track back conversations into the specific medical case due to the lack of classification of instant messaging in the existing platforms.
Despite the advocacy of not using WhatsApp as a medical medium due to patient data privacy, there is an undeniable rising number of professionals who activated this time-saving digital tool.
As a doctor, how did WhatsApp or any other instant messaging platform help you in your profession? How is your experience and what could it be improved?