ePlasty: Vol. 11
FaceTime for Physicians: Using Real Time Mobile Phone–Based Videoconferencing to Augment Diagnosis and Care in Telemedicine
David G. Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD,a Nicholas Giovinco, DPM,a Joseph L. Mills, MD,a and Lee C. Rogers, DPMb

aSouthern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), University of Arizona Tueson, AZ and bAmputation Prevention Center, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Los Angeles, California

Correspondence: Armstrong@usa.net

Objective/Background: Telemedicine has, even in its infancy, had an impact on the provision of healthcare, particularly in rural communities. However, this often relies on an expensive and ponderous infrastructure that reduces the rapid use and spontaneity for consultations. Methods: Using postoperative and intraoperative examples, we describe the use of one rapid and widely available technology (iPhone FaceTime, Cupertino, California). Results: The device, in allowing “one button connection” similar to making a phone call, reduced the need for preplanning that is generally required for real-time telemedicine consultation. Conclusions: The ability to communicate quickly with something that is an afterthought has the potential to alter how we work with our colleagues and patients. Just as with the iPod in music and the laptop in computing, it is not the change in technology, but the change in form factor and ubiquity that alters this landscape. .......