Better press pause on that breakfast burrito because this post is not for the faint of stomach.
A free photo app has recently become available on iTunes and its creators aim to revolutionize the medical community -- as well as the community of hypochondriacs and those with a morbid fascination with cysts.
Figure 1 is an iPhone app developed by Moveable Science, Inc. that allows users to upload, share, and even comment on the medical ailments of anonymous patients. From widespread staph infections and venereal diseases to ruptured organs and broken bones, it's basically what Gizmodo calls, "Instagram for Doctors."
Of course these images -- while accessible by everyone, including those who are not healthcare professionals -- are not intended to disturb or dishearten its users, but rather to keep them informed. Presented as a "crowdsourced medical image library," Figure 1 offers photos and commentary behind real, rare, and/or unidentifiable cases.
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Now we know, what you're thinking. "Aren't there laws against that?" Yeah, like a lot.
But Figure 1, still in its infancy, claims that it is doing everything possible to remain an exception to the regulations of the U.S. HIPAA Privacy Rule. Identifying features such as faces and tattoos as well as any medical records (names, date, location, etc.) cannot be included in the app's image library. Figure 1 even includes automatic face-blocking features, manual redaction tools, and a consent form that patients can sign if you really feel guilty for taking that phone shot of their genitals.
Fuel your phobias by downloading Figure 1 on iTunes and get ready to never trust your doctor with an iPhone again.