The iPad and the iPhone became a huge hit due to their ease of use, mobility and the wide range of apps that they offer. In health care, these devices integrate with medical devices through add-ons and plug-ins.
The processing power, large color screen and touchscreen interface allows these iOS devices to provide the core computing platform necessary for many health care diagnostic devices. We expect the market for iOS-based medical devices to explode in the near future as new apps and extensions are designed and developed. These devices will prove useful in the clinic and at home as patients with iOS devices take a more active role in their own health care.
“[Thanks to the iPhone] suddenly everyone has a medical device in their pocket,” said Sean Mehra of HealthTap, an interactive community of patients and physicians exchanging personalized healthcare information.
The top five medical devices that can integrate with iOS devices are listed as follows:
1. iBGStar Glucose Meter
According to American Diabetes Association 2016 estimates, 29 million Americans had diabetes. With an iPhone compatible-glucose meter, diabetics can collect, track and share blood sugar data easily. The iBGStar glucose meter connects with iPhone or iPod touch to view and share blood and glucose readings. Your iPhone can also be programmed to remind you when it’s time to check levels.
2. iPhoneECG Electrocardiogram
This device incorporates electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes in an iPhone case or on the back of the phone, which transmits data related to your heart to the iPhone. ECG is recorded by placing your fingertips on the electrodes or placing them on your chest, transforming your iPhone into an ECG recorder. Developed by AliveCor the heart monitor costs $99 and is available free with AliveECG app. Expert analysis of the ECG is available through the app for a minimal fee. While it doesn’t yet get granular enough to replace a 12 lead ECG – which gathers data from 12 leads and not just one—it can be a useful tool for monitoring patients with symptoms of arrhythmia.
3. Withings Blood Pressure Monitor
This heart monitor measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate with an inflatable cuff. It can help users monitor hypertension. French tech company Withings created a wireless blood pressure monitor that’s compatible with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The device costs $99.95 and includes a inflatable cuff that operates on standard batteries. The device’s app alerts users on irregular blood pressure readings and emails results to your doctor.
4. ECEM Pulse Oximeter
This device monitors the oxygenation of hemoglobin in the blood stream for patients with heart or lung problems such as emphysema. A small clip attaches to the patient’s fingertip and beams a light through the tissue to a receiver. The light received is translated into a percentage of oxygen saturation of the blood. The Electrical and Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM) research group in collaboration with the Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team at the University of British Columbia developed the Phone Oximeter.
5. MobiUS SP1 Ultrasound Imaging Device
Rural doctors and home caregivers can benefit from the extreme portability of this device as compared to standalone machine with a lower price. Wi-Fi and cell connectivity means images can be shared quickly. Captured images are small enough for mobile usage but smaller than those captured through traditional ultrasound machines. Unfortunately, Mobisante’s device doesn’t run on iOS yet. But we thought it was so cool, we had to include it and hold our breath waiting for an iOS version.