With social media and smartphone technologies, ECG scans can be a click away.

More than 50 physicians looked into this trend and the ways they can remotely deliver cardiac care during a conference at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore.

A team of 20 specialists from the American Society of Echocardiography was there to share how smartphones can be used to diagnose and treat rheumatic heart diseases, which is prevalent in India but not in the West.

During the conference, the group demonstrated procedures for running a heart scan and diagnosing conditions using smartphone and social media applications. A total of 300 patients were screened in three days to determine the viability and utility of such state-of-the-art technologies in evaluating a full range of abnormalities found in rheumatic valvular heart diseases.

Among the mobile applications in the spotlight was i-scan, which functions as a single-lead ECG for android smartphones. Physicians can use this to confirm a diagnosis so they can reach out to specialists, if necessary.

Ultimately, the conference seeks to create an international scientific database for modifying the existing treatment pattern.

“For needy patients who cannot afford high-cost treatment, this collaboration is a boon. Doctors here will acquire the technology and knowledge to diagnose complex heart diseases using just a smartphone and hand-held device,” said Dr. Srikanth Sola, senior consultant of cardiology at Sai hospital.

Besides smartphone scans, physicians attending the conference learned about how to use the V-scan, a handy echo-like machine designed by GE Healthcare that helps in diagnosing rheumatic heart disease.