I had to laugh the other day when I read that some guy has developed an application to turn your iPhone into a high tech stethoscope !
According to report the app has so far been downloaded by over 3 million users, and claims that a lot of these are Physicians.It uses the iPhone's mouthpiece,placed against the patients (drinking buddie's!) chest and then analyses the sound of the heartbeat to produce a trace and a display of the BPM.
So why did I laugh at this story? Well think about, if your doctor approached you with his arm extended waving an iphone at you instead of a "proper" stethoscope you may be slightly startled to say the least. Then consider the serious side of using your personal communications device as a piece of medical kit. For a start it cannot be checked for it's accuracy, and more importantly how do you go about sterilizing it between patients after use? It won't do much to promote the control of infection within a hospital environment will it?
Aside from these points of course there is also one other MAJOR drawback. How the hell are those egotistical doctors going to tell the world that they are the best thing since sliced bread if they don't swan around the hospitals with a Stethoscope strung around their necks?A set of headphones just doesn't seem so impressive............does it?