Friday, June 06, 2008

Medical Applications on the Mobile Phone – It’s Here

As the mobile phone becomes cheaper and more useful it’s now being used for medical applications. Business Week recently ran an article on how the phone is used to take medical images and ultrasound measurements. In addition, to non-measurement tasks, the iPhone is an ideal platform for viewing electrocardiograms and other medical information on a patient.

In this example researchers at Berkeley use a mobile phone to transmit an image (captured with a data acquisition device) to a central server for processing which returns the image back to the mobile phone for display to the user. The phone acts as a transmission and display device and works with a server and an image processing system to provide the medical image required.

Another application from UC Berkeley is the Cellscope which uses the camera feature of a mobile phone to magnify (from 2x to 50x) an image of a body part (mouth, ear canal, skin, etc) and then send the image via wireless for analysis by a doctor or specialist.

The Motorola Q phone comes with a medical application for labor and delivery. It provides real time waveform data of fetal heart tracing and maternal contraction patterns.

For a number of years now, researchers applied the mobile phone to Body Sensor Networks which monitors the health of a patient. The mobile phone analyzes, stores, and transmits the data to the healthcare provider.

Medical applications on the mobile phone are here and now. It’s amazing what can be done with commercial off –the-shelf technology when applied with a little innovation.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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