Doctors Using New iPhone Technology As Stethoscope

The iPhone could replace the stethoscope as millions of doctors across the world are signing up and downloading a free app created by University College London.

The application was invented by Peter Bentley, a researcher from University College London - which turns an Apple iPhone into a stethoscope.

So far, more than three million doctors have downloaded a 59p application. However, last week, Bentley introduced a free version of the app, which is being downloaded by more than 500 users a day.

Experts say the software, a major advance in medical technology, has saved lives and enabled doctors in remote areas to access specialist expertise.

"Everybody is very excited about the potential of the adoption of mobile phone technology into the medical workplace, and rightly so," said Bentley.

"Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices packed full of sensors, cameras, high-quality microphones with amazing displays," he said

Bentley's iStethoscope application is not the only mobile phone programme lightening doctors' bags and transforming their practices: there are nearly 6,000 applications related to health in the Apple App Store. The uptake has been rapid.

In late 2009, two-thirds of doctors and 42 per cent of the public were using smartphones , in effect inexpensive handheld computers, for personal and professional reasons. More than 80 per cent of doctors said they expected to own a smartphone by 2012.

In the furture it could be possible for people to conduct their own ultrasounds or monitor blood pressure through smartphones.

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