iPhone as medical platform: a consumer view

A New York Times writer takes a “Popular Mechanics” look at the iPhone as a platform for medical devices, and comes away with a split decision. For every Withings BP cuff that graphs and allows users to share via their website, similarly with GlucoseBuddy or iBGStar, there’s an iStethoscope that’s not worth even 99 cents. Hilarious description of putting together a DIY otoscope. Monitoring Your Health With Mobile Devices

As Dr. Eric Topol of West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) leads the NYT article with his forecast of consumers tracking their health through their smartphones (if they are willing, or if they even have a smartphone–Ed. Donna), it’s only fair that we let him close with his mHIMSS ‘View from the Top’ remarks on how physicians just don’t get that their patients have gone digital. But it’s an awfully long leap to thinking that patients are uniformly interested in controlling or even viewing their own data, smartphone or not, until it becomes ‘life or death’. Topol challenges docs to embrace the digital revolution

2 thoughts on “iPhone as medical platform: a consumer view

  1. It is sad that Dr. Topol and our friends at Connected Health at Harvard “never” publish how many people actually continue to use the (any) app after 90 days. Other than a small percentage (maybe 8-10%) most people discontinue after some time. Just like the istethoscope and otoscope, these apps sound like a good idea and are fun to talk about- but don’t give any lasting value.

  2. @Donna

    Great reality check

    @Sam Daley

    Great points.

    Here’s a Smartphone based service you might be interested in: http://alivecor.com

    We’ve been trialing the device/service for some time now and the healthcare workers and patients who get access to a device are using it practically all the time (yes even now several months later).

    Here’s some more info on our experiences:


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