WhatsApp in mHealth: an overview on the potentialities and the opportunities in medical imaging

Daniele Giansanti

Abstract

WhatsApp as many other Messaging Apps or “Messengers” enables messaging and exchanging documents and/or multimedia element (images, movies, music) through chat like tools; these last characteristics makes WhatsApp useful for the remote-image exchanging in mHealth for teleconsulting. Among the other potentialities of this App there are (I) the possibility to create groups, the so called WhatsApp Groups and (II) the possibility of this App to be installed into a platform based on a personal computer through the version for pc named WhatsApp Web; these potentialities allow both the creation of protected groups for cooperative teleconsulting and the creation of client-server architectures in telemedicine and e-Health. Scholars have recently shown the usefulness of WhatsApp in several mHealth applications. Recent important studies are highlighting, for example, the wide-range opportunities of WhatsApp as an adjunctive tool in mHealth in medical imaging or in specific applications such as in oral medicine in orthopedics and tele-education. In this contribution we share our alignment with these scholars and presents our polarities of research in the use of WhatsApp. These polarities range from the institutional surveillance of the spontaneous phenomena of WhatsApp groups in the families for the monitoring of the fragile patient up to the test of use of WhatsApp in digital-pathology and digital-radiology static imaging and recently in cardiologic dynamic imaging.