AUSTIN (KXAN) - Using mobile apps to take care of medical needs is part of the shifting future of the healthcare industry. Where smartphones are becoming basic doctors.
These days there are apps that can do just about everything from testing eyesight to checking blood sugar.
It's a hot topic in healthcare and at SXSW interactive this year.
Jacob Brody, has lived with diabetes for most of his life and says the disease can be difficult to manage.
"I was 13 and it was really scary," said Brody. "It's all about diet, exercise, blood glucose, insulin."
But one of his best tools is his iPhone, and a host of mobile apps help. There are even apps where he can test his blood sugar through an iPhone attachment. The information is analyzed and in minutes pops up on the mobile device.
"It gives me one really comprehensive view that is easy for me to understand," said Brody.
It's technology like that, that's exploding across the world, as more people turn to their mobile devices to simplify their lives in every way.
Sunday, a group of medical experts got together for a panel discussion at SXSW to weigh in on the pros and cons. Including the risks of relying on smart phones, and the impact mobile health has on practicing doctors.
Mobile health touches every realm of medicine. There are even apps that can detect skin cancer by scanning moles and giving you a diagnosis on your phone.
And the technology is changing the entire healthcare industry; including health insurance.
"The other part is how do we keep people healthy," said Veer Gidwaney, CEO and Co-founder of Maxwell Health , a company that sets up health insurance for corporations and their families. "We aren't going to get America to where we want to be unless we change their behaviors."
That's where mobile health gets a social twist; with companies giving incentives and motivation for staying on the right track.
"People these days are turning to Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, and all these different social networks for inspiration and motivation. It's a growing trend," said Derek Flanzraich, creator of Greatist.com , a website that promotes healthy lifestyle choices.
"It all has such wide ranging effects on making sure my lifestyle is healthy," said Brody. "I can't live without it."
Keep in mind there is room for error with trusting health decisions to electronic gadgets. So experts say it's still best to consult a doctor after using an app.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.