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Believe it or not! Selfies may have come to be known as attention seeking, addictive and dangerous behaviour but what if your doctor recommends taking one? From monitoring various stages of cancer to advising dental patients on the best techniques of oral hygiene, health experts in Chennai are finding that self-portrait photographs and videos may help promote good health, and early diagnosis to prevent diseases.
The idea that selfies can be used as visual diaries, to monitor and correct health problems, made six students at the Ragas Dental College, Chennai, take a video of themselves brushing their teeth every day.
This was for a study about refining toothbrush techniques. Toothbrush habit is often the best way to maintain oral hygiene but as there may be no one good way to brush your teeth, often people suffer from dental problems. The unique formation and setting of every individual means that different people may need different methods of oral care. The experts asked to take selfie videos while brushing every morning for 14 days.
Four students completed the task and the researchers observed improvement up to 8% in their brushing skills. The authors of the study managed to demonstrate initial feasibility of using selfie videos to better dental health, but need a more detailed study to assess its effectiveness.
Although many doctors are still hesitant to use cellphones for interactions and prescriptions, a few of them feel it can be used by women for self-examination of breast cancer. A section of doctors say, that women can be asked to take a video of themselves once every month for three months and bring it for a review. This can help ensure that they don’t miss any step. But it should be done in a small group, where women make videos of themselves wearing a light T-shirt and see if it works.
In rare cases, doctors say selfie videos are effective especially when the symptoms are not immediately visible, like in case of fits. While selfies being used in the health sector is still at a nascent stage, the fitness industry has been using this photographic representation to motivate and monitor for some time now