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NPR's iPhone app helps doctor recommend treatment for stroke patient


I have been a huge fan of NPR's News app [iTunes link] since it was initially released in August, and so seeing the following item was especially heartwarming. Right before Christmas, NPR published a story on how a Los Angeles doctor utilized the NPR app to obtain the information needed to get the right stroke treatment drug for his sister.

Tanya Gill, a Chicago art instructor, collapsed while shopping, and word went out to her family members that she had been rushed to the hospital. Her brother, Dr. Joe Hastings, told his wife about his sister's illness, who commented that it sounded like a story she heard about stroke treatment on NPR. Hastings accessed the story on the NPR app and e-mailed it to the rest of the family. He then contacted the doctors treating Gill and urged them to utilize the drug, tPA, mentioned in the story.

Gill has since made a complete recovery. While tPA is not a 'miracle drug' for stroke (it can only be used on a subset of patients, in a very narrow time window, and carries with it a substantial risk of severe bleeding), in this case it may have made a big difference.

How has 'the internet in your pocket' changed how you interact with family members and health professionals when it comes to medical issues? Let us know in the comments.

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