I am surrounded by apps, robots, and virtual reality helmets. Buenos dias from the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona! This has to be one of the most interesting conferences right now. Yes, robots and virtual reality helmets are totally awesome, but the real reason I flew here was to observe how health care apps will change dentistry. Companies are capturing data that we've never had before (e.g., wearable devices) and then finding fascinating ways to put that data to good use.
Among a list of the major tech companies from Google to Samsung, one dental company chose to exhibit at the world's largest mobile conference: Oral-B. They unveiled a new power brush and app called Oral-B Genius that records a patient's brushing duration, intensity, and positioning in the mouth. I thought I was a good brusher, but it turns out I neglect my lower right posterior sextant and I tend to brush too hard.
Data collection can be used for patient self-study, but it also has applications for the provider. You know those patients who say they brush for two minutes, twice a day, and they don't understand why they keep getting tooth decay or gum disease? Now we have a means of helping them see where their home care is falling short.
Of course, this is just the beginning. More data and more interesting data can lead to highly personalized diagnosis and treatment recommendations. And it can help us run our practices as well. We already have products that will capture phone calls, open appointments, and overdue balances instantly. I wonder what the future will hold...
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