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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

iPhone is currently being used to TREAT patients!

All this while I am only thinking of iPhone as a great communication device; with all the cool and advance applications. But now, Doctors are turning and looking forward to iPhone.

Instead of using stethoscopes, some Doctors will now use their iPhone!

The iStethoscope app allows you to put the iPhone next to a persons chest and listen to their heartbeat. The heartbeat is heard through a built-in microphone which monitors cardiac activity that you will be able to hear through earphones attached to the phone. The user can shake the iPhone to show a graphic which represents a heartbeat. Better still, it is also possible to play back the last 8 seconds of the recording. And thus, it will be able to check and measure patients heartbeats and recorded it as well

Creator Peter Bentley, researcher at University College London, has said, "Smartphones are capable of saving lives, saving money and improving healthcare in a dramatic fashion. In the future, fully fledged integrated designs capable of taking ultra sound scanners or monitor a patient's blood pressure."

The application is 59p but is currently available as a free version. You may not have heard of it before but it has proved popular with over 3 million downloads in the UK!

But, a Doctor has seen down-sides to the app already. Dr Tim Ringrose, medical director at doctors.net.uk, has said, "I find it very interesting but don't think it is ready to replace the stethoscope just yet. The best thing about it is that it helps doctors explain what the sounds means to their patients in an easy way, as the graphic makes it clear. Another positive aspect is that patients can record their heartbeat when they are not with their doctors and then show it to them if they have any concerns. However, it doesn't do all things a stethoscope does. It seems to have difficulties picking up breath sounds which means it could be difficult to detect lung diseases such as pneumonia."


There's still a room for improvement but I honestly think the application is great as it has contributes in improving health and life quality. :)

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