I came across two articles today discussing how medical professionals are increasingly turning to devices like the iPhone to help them in their day-to-day practice. When Apple unveiled the new iPhone SDK last week, one of the presentations involved hooking up an iPhone to a blood-pressure pump. The ability to have an iPhone interact directly with a medical device, and to then transmit pertinent information to a physician in real time opens up a world of possibilities, and the practice might soon become as ubiquitous as a stethoscope.
PC Mag reports:
This isn’t just a cool app—it has real implications for the doctor/patient relationship. Other digital monitoring systems download data to a PC before sending it to the doctor for review. This app breaks new ground, allowing testing in real time and letting doctors adjust medication needs far more proactively.
The potential of the iPhone as a medical device almost seems limitless given its communicative abilities.
With such a connection, one could download test results to an app on the iPhone to chart various readings graphically. Since it’s connected, the device could give real-time information that a person might need to adjust his medicine or insulin. This particular app will also be tied to a community of folks with the same condition, so people can compare treatments, get feedback, and share their own ways of dealing with this disease.
The new iPhone SDK might also prove to be a useful device for the blind.
A phone iss already an important communication gateway for the visually impaired; such people can also use audiobooks to deliver information and entertainment. In addition, Apple’s new voice-based turn-by-turn navigation could be helpful to pedestrians going from point A to point B in new surroundings.
PC Mag has more on the iPhone as a medical device over here, and it’s a highly recommended read. With all the talk about the iPhone as an entertainment device, it’s sometimes easy to forget about some of the more important things it can be used for.
BusinessWeek also has an article discussing how the iPhone is becoming an integral part of one doctor’s practice. You can check that out over here.