Our doctor is retiring. She’s been my general practitioner for the past 15 years and seen me through some curveballs. Love her to bits.
She’s working hard to find continued care for her patients and, while she’s been successful in finding a GP for some, she has found no one to take on her practice.
This is no surprise in a city where the doctors-taking-patients list has shown a consistent ‘zero’ for the past several years. Family doctoring is on the wane here with young medics opting for the normal hours of the hospital or the bigger dollars of specialties.
But then this happened last night.
Jim and Lyn came for dinner, just back from a destination wedding in the Caribbean where Jim had a bit of a heart incident (remember when old people used to talk about their ‘tricky tickers’ … welcome to the generation, friends). At the time, Jim was on an excursion – far from health care and even farther from his Canadian health plan – but the young people on his bus had a diagnosis at the ready. They whipped out their smart phones, had Jim place his finger over the camera and an app measured his wonky heart rate.
So this is the fun stuff we do at dinner parties now.
I had to get rid of Angry Birds to make room for the heart app, downloaded it and both Jim and Lyn demonstrated how it worked. Finger over camera – badoom-badoom – there were their steady heart peaks and valleys measuring 65 bpm.
My turn. Nothing. Press harder. Nothing. Change finger position – there was a faint pulse and a worrying line that looked like the Rockies, then the foothills, then the Rockies again. Then nothing.
“You’re heartless,” said Lyn. I had to empty the wine bottle after that.
So today, I gave it another go and the app wanted money. Screw that, since I’m dead anyway. I deleted it and went for another.
This next app required a series of click-to-agree-to-the-terms thingies then, ready to put my finger over the camera, it instructed me to put the camera on selfie mode and the app would determine my heart rate by looking at my face. What the?
So that meant I had to go and get pretty if a selfie was involved – heart rate raising in its own way. I don’t know if mascara will make a difference to the outcome, but I feel better about it.
This new app detects heart rate by face and by finger. I must not be as fit as I thought or the frantic mascara application amped my stress.
Anyway, here’s the finger result:
Definitely the mascara.
Turns out there’s an app for pretty much all that ails you.
Meet your new doctor.