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Medical Apps for your Phone

Apps for phones, such as the iPhone have already forrayed into the medical arena. With the 3.0 software, even more medical applications will be available. In fact, some predict that the iPhone will be a medical device.

As part of its software presentation, Apple showed how manufacturers might use the iPhone's  external-accessories application to do things such as hook up a blood-pressure cuff to the iPhone and take someone's pressure. LifeScan recently introduced a prototype for an application that would allow diabetics to interface their glucometers with the iPhone. In his news story, Rich Thomasell, discusses the regulatory hurdles that could be met with smart phone acting as a medical device. He says, "a consumer could hook up a blood-pressure cuff and take a reading for his own knowledge, and Apple would be OK. But if the consumer then took the next logical step and passed the results on to a health-care professional, the iPhone could be considered a medical device." Intended use and labeling is uncharted for these consumer devices. Whether smart phones are going to be considered medical devices or not, they do have the potential to provide opportunites for medical branding. A medical sponsored app that helps patients could be key. For example, I would love to be able to download an app that tracks migraines and helps identify possible triggers. Heather Thompson

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