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iPhone Telehealth for Health Professionals

Since the beginning of 2009, there has been a swift flurry of uptake of increasingly sophisticated health monitoring, reference and diagnostic tools for health professionals, using the iphone systems as a base platform.

These half-phone half-palmtop systems utilise large display touch screens, and are proving to be perfect for wireless networking, data transmission and dynamic display - ideal for practitioners.

Acid Plus, an Acid-Base Analysis for iPhone

Acid-Base

Doctor Brian Parkin and Doctor Prasanth Gogineni have developed an acid-base calculator using the display capabilities of the iphone. Called Acid Plus, the software swiftly analyses complex acid-base problems, taking the input data. When you have finished using it, tilt the phone sideways, and the display shifts to a graph of possible disorders, with an arrow pointing to the likely one the patient is currently dealing with.

Input is via a graphical dial on the touchscreen. Five separate tumblers clearly labelled can be spun with a finger drag across them, freeing the user from having to learn any complex input system.

Additionally, it features:

  • Primary calculations including compensations and anion gap with delta delta
  • Ability to discern complex acid/base problems with secondary disorders
  • Detailed views listing common causes of the primary acid-base disorder
  • Colorful graph activated by turning the device right or left
  • Real-time arrow pointing to the correct disorder on the graph
  • Works on both iPhone and iPod touch

Epocrates Essentials

Epocrates EssentialsEpocrates, a well known medical software developer, has introduced the Epocrates Essentials suite for the iPhone and iPod Touch systems. Essentially, this is a three-D expert system for health professionals on the go - drug listings, disease database and diagnostic resources, to help turn any out of office location into a clinical practice, giving medical staff a comprehensive system, both on the phone, and with the ability to call for further information from online, where available.

This new version of the Epocrates Essentials suite was developed exclusively for the iPhone platform. It takes advantage of the touch-screen interface, and introduces new disease content, features and functionality to the platform. When the company introduced the Epocrates Rx free drug and formulary reference to the Apple iTunes store n July 2008, it quickly became one of the most popular medical applications with more than 50,000 downloads by physicians in only four months.

This package, released in February 2009, expands it to a full range of diagnosis tools.

The premium software solution includes:

  • Drug prescribing and safety information for more than 3,300 drugs, including pill pictures
  • Peer-reviewed disease content and evidence-based differential diagnosis developed in conjunction with the BMJ Group, publisher of the British Medical Journal
  • Infectious disease treatment guide with empiric and specific treatment recommendations
  • Hundreds of diagnostic and laboratory tests for interpretation and diagnostic support
  • 600+ alternative (herbal) medications with drug interactions
  • MedMath medical calculators including commonly-used pregnancy wheel and unit conversions

Overall

The above applications are just those that have launched at time of writing. More are on the way, that make use of the iPhone's features as a mobile computation platform, and significant data storage capabilities, to increasingly turn the platform into a mobile clinical facility.

The iPhone does of course come with a camera, and there are a rapidly increasing number of diagnostic algorithms that can work out the condition a patient is currently suffering from a simple mobile phone picture. As these two abilities collide, we are starting to see the emergence of a tiny, mobile diagnosis and analysis tool, that is changing the landscape for medicine.

Further Reading

Resource List: Phone Based Telehealth for Health Professionals

Following the trends 2008-2009 in developing healthcare applications, diagnosis, analysis and healthcare provision based on mobile phones, their connectivity and computing power.

References

Acid Plus

Epocrates Essentials Reference Now Available for iPhone OS

Epocrates Essentials

Staff Comments

 


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