WhatsApp doc?


Sir, – The discomfort doctors experience in using telephone Apps to communicate clinical information is not a trivial matter (“Doctors may be sharing patient data”, October 30th).

A scenario that arises regularly in my practice is of the donation of organs to be procured outside Dublin for transplant within the capital. The logistical challenges are considerable, and entail most obviously that decisions are made about the suitability of the donor organs as quickly as possible. This is absolutely time critical.

Photographing a chest X-ray on one’s mobile device and sending it to colleagues from the bedside may expedite the process. Potential organ donors can then be called at the earliest time. While other technical solutions are possible, none to my knowledge is as fast.

Delays arising to ensure confidentiality will cost organs, and thereby, perhaps, lives.

If there is not a faster method to convey data, I would rather commend these doctors on their innovation. They ought to be reassured at least, however, that legitimate sharing of data will not be punished. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.