It used to be that back in the day, the cameras on our smartphones were mere novelties and were of extremely low-resolution. These days our cameras are good enough to the point where they can potentially replace entry-level point and shoot cameras, and the quality is good enough where sometimes it can even pick up on health problems.


In a report from the BBC (via 9to5Mac), New York resident Opokua Kwapong was on the phone with her sister Adumea Sapong who lives in Manchester when Sapong noticed that something wasn’t right. She started to realize that her sister’s speech was slurred and her face looked different than normal.

She then suggested to her sister that make she get a glass of water and take some aspirin, but then Kwapong was unable to pick up the glass and struggled to walk. According to Sapong, “She thought I was making a fuss so I then conferenced in one of my other sisters, who is a doctor, and she could hear her speaking and could also tell that her speech was slurred. We both told her to call for help straightaway.”

Kwapong quickly called 911 and was later diagnosed as having a clot in the brain, and while the stroke left her paralyzed on her left side, Kwapong credited FaceTime as helping her save her life by giving her sister the tools to help her notice that something was wrong. According to Kwapong, “There is no doubt that FaceTime saved my life. If my sister had not noticed that something was not right, then things could have been so different.”

Interestingly enough this is actually not the first time smartphone cameras have accidentally led to stroke detection. Several years ago a woman felt numbness on one side of her body and decided to take out her camera to start recording her own symptoms, which when showed to doctors was diagnosed as a ministroke.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones >General. Read more about Facetime and Health.

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