Doctors ditch stethoscopes for iPhone App

It seems sometimes that Apps are taking over the world with their ever-growing popularity and there are different apps now for all different purposes, from the Angry Birds game to educational apps to movie apps, and now it seems medical apps. It seems that doctors are “ditching their stethoscopes” to use an iPhone App instead.

A report by Lea Jacobiak over on Sky News says that the app called iStethoscope which can measure patients’ heartbeats has now been downloaded over 3 million times in the U.K. alone. It’s an amazing innovation whereby the user or somebody using it on them, places the iPhone on the chest and the inbuilt microphone picks up cardiac activity. One you shake the phone a graphic is displayed to show the heartbeat.

There are even claims that in the near future doctors will be using apps to perform blood pressure monitoring or even ultra sounds scans on patients, all using their phones. Peter Bentley of University College, London and creator of the app said, “smartphones are capable of saving lives, saving money and improving healthcare in a dramatic fashion.” However Dr. Tim Ringrose of doctors.net.uk said, “I find it very interesting but don’t think it is ready to replace the stethoscope just yet,” although he can see some benefits.

Apparently 80% of doctors anticipate owning a smartphone by 2012 and there are already over 6,000 medical apps available. The iStethoscope app is usually 59p but is currently free. For more on this go to news.sky.com. How would you feel if you were a patient and your doctor measured your heartbeat with an iPhone? Would you feel perfectly confident about it or maybe a little concerned? We’d welcome your thoughts on this so please do send them in.