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Doctors see Apple's iPhone as life saver in 'the future of medicine'

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
While some iPhone users see their smartphones as a figurative life saver, Dr. Eric Topol put Apple's popular smartphone to such use literally on a recent flight from Washington, D.C., to San Diego.

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As Rock Center with Brian Williams details, Topol used his iPhone, in combination with an AliveCor ? an iPhone-mounted sensor capable of delivering clinically accurate electrocardiograms ? to measure the vital signs of a passenger experiencing severe chest pains at 30,000 feet.

When the readings indicated that the passenger was, in fact, having a heart attack, Topol recommended an urgent landing. The passenger survived after being rushed to the hospital.

According to Topol, the proliferation of apps that allow patients to measure and monitor their vital signs represents a revolution in the medical world. Devices like the iPhone, he says, will soon be able to pair with ingested or injected sensors: monitoring blood flow, sugar levels, sleep habits, heart rates, and more.

When one of these sensors picks up data of note, it will be able to contact a patient's smartphone, or even a patient's doctor in order to alert the physician and schedule an appointment. Such technology could cut down on inefficient practices such as mass screenings for things like breast cancer, with patients instead monitoring their own hormone and blood chemistry levels with smartphone-paired sensors.

AliveCor


The medical community is moving toward and adopting technologies such as these in fits and starts, encouraged by the utility and portability of devices such as the iPad mini, but occasionally stymied by regulatory concerns. Physicians have by some accounts, been quicker to adopt the iPad for use in their practices than they have the electronic health record systems mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

The other end of the medical future that Topol envisions, though, will be slower to come. While advancements have been made in wireless technologies and sensors, the medical community has been slower to adopt those devices than it has tablets and smartphones.

The pace of improvement in those devices continues to accelerate, though, and it may not be too far in the future when smartphone users won't have to call their doctor for an appointment, because their smartphone will have already done so for them.
post #2 of 43
I love this! As a paramedic, we use tablets/laptops to complete our call reports. I wish they would get iPads instead of all these other types but its a start in the right direction. There are so many benefits!
post #3 of 43
The choice of a case for your iPhone is highly personal. Each case option has its pros and cons. In this instance:

Pros: saves lives.

Cons: limited color choices, screen protector not bundled.
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I think doctors prefer the iPad mini by a wide margin. At least that is the case from my own observations which may be limited but provide a pretty nice sample size. It is small and light enough to easily fit in our pockets (lab coat not pants) and is large enough to easily read. My most used medical apps are Medscape and Epocrates and both of them have some pretty small fonts. It is far easier to read drug interactions for example on a Mini vs. an iPhone screen. The iPad with certain apps is a huge time saver and also helps with far better and more efficacious initial triage.

I think you're right. The iPad was a hit long before the iPad (3) with the Retina Display was a well echoed rumour. Once the iPad mini gets a Retina Display — i thin 2014 is most likely — I think it will be even more valuable with that 326 PPI display of the iPhone.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 43

Ok, finally Apple is starting to cure deceases with their phones. Finally Cook! Now the stock can go up to 1000$. Unless of course the next version still can't use robotic arms controlled by NFC, the new must have thing on the block! (just like the s-pen, surface's keyboard, you know) /s


Edited by pedromartins - 1/25/13 at 12:17pm
post #6 of 43
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
I think doctors prefer the iPad mini by a wide margin. At least that is the case from my own observations which may be limited but provide a pretty nice sample size. It is small and light enough to easily fit in our pockets (lab coat not pants)…

 

They'd still have to use regular iPads to replace those crazy-expensive high-res screens, though.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
I think doctors prefer the iPad mini by a wide margin. At least that is the case from my own observations which may be limited but provide a pretty nice sample size. It is small and light enough to easily fit in our pockets (lab coat not pants)…

 

They'd still have to use regular iPads to replace those crazy-expensive high-res screens, though.

He did not mention viewing X-rays, CAT scans or MRI image data on the mini. Even the regular iPad with retina screen is not officially suitable for that type of work since to be accurate the high resolution monitors used for viewing and evaluating medical image data is done in a controlled lighting environment such as a room with low ambient light. An iPad mini or full size might be appropriate for quick presentation or as a visual aid while on rounds but in no way replaces the full fledged medical imaging suite.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #8 of 43

But... But... Android....

post #9 of 43

In related news, there was a really sick guy who walked into a doctor's office recently, and the doctor was testing out his new Android phone, to see how well it would work for medical purposes. He got the phone for real cheap, it was actually a BOGOF, and he gave the second one to his wife. The medical app that the doctor was using was also downloaded for free.

 

The patient didn't know what was ailing him, he just knew that something was wrong. The doctor opens up his new Android medical app and decides to do a scan of the patient. After fifteen minutes of scanning, the doctor can't find anything wrong at all, so he sends the patient home and tells them not to worry about it.

 

The next day, the patient drops dead. At first the doctor is confused, and wonders if he missed anything. After a while of playing around with his Android phone again, the doctor realizes that while using the free Android medical app, there is a huge ad that pops up on the screen during the scan, obstructing a full view of the screen, and a large cancerous tumor went totally undetected. And two weeks after the patient dropped dead, the doctor's wife filed for a divorce, because she was so furious that her doctor husband would dare to give her a POS Android phone that he picked up for free. Anybody who gives an Android phone to their wife, obviously doesn't love them anymore, and the chances are that they are having a steamy affair behind your back.

post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

But... But... Android....

 

Oh don't worry.   Unlike iOS, Android can be used in embedded medical applications.   It's already replacing Windows CE which was used a lot (as is Linux) in such devices.

 

 

 

So while the doctor is using an iPad Mini to check your chart, an Android driven device will be monitoring your life signs.

 

Let the bad jokes commence 1wink.gif

post #11 of 43

This is also why phones should be small, and not gigantic "phablets."  

They are the pocket multi-device; the communicators; the tricorders of the future as it were.  

 

Google and Microsoft have it so completely wrong with their stupid idea that phones are just "small tablets" and tablets are just "large phones," and that they should all run the same apps.  Wrong.

 

There are two distinct classes of devices needed.  There may be a need for other form factors in future too.  

post #12 of 43
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

So while the doctor is using an iPad Mini to check your chart, an Android driven device will be monitoring your life signs.

 

The Android gets malware, killing you. The doctor removes your room from his schedule on the iPad, and it's automatically updated across all of his devices, thanks to iCloud.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #13 of 43
It's a good thing no one requested all electronics devices must be shut off right before landing!
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

In related news, there was a really sick guy who walked into a doctor's office recently, and the doctor was testing out his new Android phone, to see how well it would work for medical purposes. He got the phone for real cheap, it was actually a BOGOF, and he gave the second one to his wife. The medical app that the doctor was using was also downloaded for free.

 

The patient didn't know what was ailing him, he just knew that something was wrong. The doctor opens up his new Android medical app and decides to do a scan of the patient. After fifteen minutes of scanning, the doctor can't find anything wrong at all, so he sends the patient home and tells them not to worry about it.

 

The next day, the patient drops dead. At first the doctor is confused, and wonders if he missed anything. After a while of playing around with his Android phone again, the doctor realizes that while using the free Android medical app, there is a huge ad that pops up on the screen during the scan, obstructing a full view of the screen, and a large cancerous tumor went totally undetected. And two weeks after the patient dropped dead, the doctor's wife filed for a divorce, because she was so furious that her doctor husband would dare to give her a POS Android phone that he picked up for free. Anybody who gives an Android phone to their wife, obviously doesn't love them anymore, and the chances are that they are having a steamy affair behind your back.

 

Ummm...what? Are you stoned?

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

He did not mention viewing X-rays, CAT scans or MRI image data on the mini. Even the regular iPad with retina screen is not officially suitable for that type of work since to be accurate the high resolution monitors used for viewing and evaluating medical image data is done in a controlled lighting environment such as a room with low ambient light. An iPad mini or full size might be appropriate for quick presentation or as a visual aid while on rounds but in no way replaces the full fledged medical imaging suite.

 

At our hospitals the X-Rays are digital so do not need to be viewed in low light conditions.  Low light is needed to be able to see physical film.

post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

In related news, there was a really sick guy who walked into a doctor's office recently, and the doctor was testing out his new Android phone, to see how well it would work for medical purposes. He got the phone for real cheap, it was actually a BOGOF, and he gave the second one to his wife. The medical app that the doctor was using was also downloaded for free.

 

The patient didn't know what was ailing him, he just knew that something was wrong. The doctor opens up his new Android medical app and decides to do a scan of the patient. After fifteen minutes of scanning, the doctor can't find anything wrong at all, so he sends the patient home and tells them not to worry about it.

 

The next day, the patient drops dead. At first the doctor is confused, and wonders if he missed anything. After a while of playing around with his Android phone again, the doctor realizes that while using the free Android medical app, there is a huge ad that pops up on the screen during the scan, obstructing a full view of the screen, and a large cancerous tumor went totally undetected. And two weeks after the patient dropped dead, the doctor's wife filed for a divorce, because she was so furious that her doctor husband would dare to give her a POS Android phone that he picked up for free. Anybody who gives an Android phone to their wife, obviously doesn't love them anymore, and the chances are that they are having a steamy affair behind your back.

 

 

Lmao

 

 

clever

post #17 of 43
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post
Ummm...what? Are you stoned?

 

That doctor might be.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

 

Ummm...what? Are you stoned?

It's funny that you should ask that.lol.gif

post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

He did not mention viewing X-rays, CAT scans or MRI image data on the mini. Even the regular iPad with retina screen is not officially suitable for that type of work since to be accurate the high resolution monitors used for viewing and evaluating medical image data is done in a controlled lighting environment such as a room with low ambient light. An iPad mini or full size might be appropriate for quick presentation or as a visual aid while on rounds but in no way replaces the full fledged medical imaging suite.

 

At our hospitals the X-Rays are digital so do not need to be viewed in low light conditions.  Low light is needed to be able to see physical film.

Have you ever been in a medical imaging suite? Digital 3D X-rays is my business and I have worked in the field since 2001.

 

The same principles of ambient light apply regardless of the media.

 

 I suppose if you are outside in direct sunlight your digital X-rays look just fine on your iPad. Right....

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The Android gets malware, killing you. The doctor removes your room from his schedule on the iPad, and it's automatically updated across all of his devices, thanks to iCloud.

 

Ha.  Pretty funny, TS!   Or maybe...

 

Doctor pulls out an iOS device to scan patient's internals.  Uh oh.  The app detects that the patient is naked under the sheets, and goes into Apple Puritan Mode, refusing to display anything.  The iTunes store deletes the scanning program just in case.   Apple's lawyers go on high alert.

 

*sniff*

 

Seriously, I don't think any of the aspiring comedians in this thread should quit our day jobs yet.  lol.gif


Edited by KDarling - 1/25/13 at 1:59pm
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The Android gets malware, killing you. The doctor removes your room from his schedule on the iPad, and it's automatically updated across all of his devices, thanks to iCloud.

Some countries have strong rules disallowing health imformation being stored on the likes of iCloud
post #22 of 43
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post
Doctor pulls out an iOS device to scan patient's internals.  Uh oh.  The app detects that the patient is naked under the sheets, and goes into Apple Puritan Mode, refusing to display anything.  The iTunes store deletes the scanning program just in case.   Apple's lawyers go on high alert.

 

I was thinking more "app uses augmented reality processing to automatically add fig leaves in the style of A.D.A.M. The Inside Story". But that's old and obscure. 


Originally Posted by jfanning View Post
Some countries have strong rules disallowing health imformation being stored on the likes of iCloud
 

This is becoming a funny thread; he's right.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #23 of 43
It's time medicine caught up with the 21st century. Eliminate paper work and digitize everything, so EMS can know a victim's medical history, recent health history prior/during the incident that required EMS; patient chart data that appears at a nurse's/doctor's tablet instantly when requested, or when they enter the patient's room, as well as alerts for condition changes; surgery AI that keeps track of EVERYTHING before, during and after a procedure so surgeons don't mess up or forget things... These things speed up diagnosis, save time and money, prevent mistakes, and increase overall efficiency of doctor's offices and hospitals. We need more of this kind of technologies.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I think doctors prefer the iPad mini by a wide margin. At least that is the case from my own observations which may be limited but provide a pretty nice sample size. It is small and light enough to easily fit in our pockets (lab coat not pants) and is large enough to easily read. My most used medical apps are Medscape and Epocrates and both of them have some pretty small fonts. It is far easier to read drug interactions for example on a Mini vs. an iPhone screen. The iPad with certain apps is a huge time saver and also helps with far better and more efficacious initial triage.

 

All the doctors I know who are tech savvy use Galaxy Notes, as the screen is large enough for looking at pictures and scribbling in notes with the included stylus, but small enough to be taken everywhere when not in the office. Plus it's a phone, so they don't have to bring along a separate gadget. Personally I use a fully sized iPad, but I prefer the larger screen and already carry around a notebook sized leather binder anyway, so the size isn't an issue for me.

post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

It's time medicine caught up with the 21st century. Eliminate paper work and digitize everything, so EMS can know a victim's medical history, recent health history prior/during the incident that required EMS; patient chart data that appears at a nurse's/doctor's tablet instantly when requested, or when they enter the patient's room, as well as alerts for condition changes; surgery AI that keeps track of EVERYTHING before, during and after a procedure so surgeons don't mess up or forget things... These things speed up diagnosis, save time and money, prevent mistakes, and increase overall efficiency of doctor's offices and hospitals. We need more of this kind of technologies.

 

It's more about medical law than medical technology. There are state and federal laws that prevent scenarios like the one you mention. Even if I were to request a patient's charge be emailed from their previous doctor, I must get written permission from that patient first. This is usually handled with a section of the form they fill out when they first come to see me, but it is still required nonetheless.

Even as a medical professional, I wouldn't sign away my records to any large database of the sort you describe, given the lack of security inherent in current systems. No, the closest to this you are likely to see in the near future are evolved "med-alert bracelets" that contain the patient's latest records in an imbedded NFC chip which can only be accessed with tightly regulated scanners.

post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

The Android gets malware, killing you. The doctor removes your room from his schedule on the iPad, and it's automatically updated across all of his devices, thanks to iCloud.

 

However, it maps your room to a different location and instead deletes an operating room.  The mistake is caught, but before it can update, iCloud goes down *again*

Everyone slated for surgery dies.  Siri chimes in to remind the doctor he will need more body bags.

 

The media blames Apple and their shares plummet to an even more negative number!

 

 

Okay.  I'm with KDarling on not quitting our day jobs to become lousy comedians.

 

What I do think is awesome though is the original story and don't care if its an Apple or Android (or even a WP or Blackberry phone).  The fact that devices are getting these capabilities is just pretty frickin cool.   I remember my first iPhone when people were still in the 'whats so special about the iPhone' phase.  There was an app that would show x-rays of 'your' hand- you just always had to use your left hand and learn the pattern to move over your hand.  People would get boggled by it (well, the gullible people anyway).  Nowadays its seeming less and less far fetched.

post #27 of 43

When these little sensors get cheap enough, perhaps new clothes will have them stitched in, beaming a warming to your phone if they detect a health problem. Of course if you're a nudist you will have no warning.

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

When these little sensors get cheap enough, perhaps new clothes will have them stitched in, beaming a warming to your phone if they detect a health problem. Of course if you're a nudist you will have no warning.

 

Yep.  But for now, sensors are put directly on the subject:

 

There are companies that make disposable NFC skin patches, that you stick on a patient to measure temperature, pressure, or even deliver medication.  Oh, and of course aid in identification.   

 

There are wireless pulse oximeters and EKG sensors.

 

Also, wasn't there a Kickstarter project for a Dr McCoy type remote sensor?   Or was that just an environmental reader.

post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Oh don't worry.   Unlike iOS, Android can be used in embedded medical applications.   It's already replacing Windows CE which was used a lot (as is Linux) in such devices.


So while the doctor is using an iPad Mini to check your chart, an Android driven device will be monitoring your life signs.

Let the bad jokes commence 

The Android monitors will start playing ads and if u flatline, an aspirin ad appears. Of course the monitors will freeze up and you have to unplug it to clear the damn thing. Then of course the monitors will only be on Android 2.2.
post #30 of 43
Oh and I thought iOS devices are toys. /s
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

There are companies that make disposable NFC skin patches, that you stick on a patient to measure temperature, pressure, or even deliver medication.  Oh, and of course aid in identification.   

 

There are wireless pulse oximeters and EKG sensors.

Cool, we are further along than I thought!

post #32 of 43

A doctor walks into a patient's room and says, "I've got some good news and some bad news. Which would you like to hear first?"

 

The patient says, "Gimme the bad news first, doc."

 

The doctor says, "Unfortunately, we amputated the wrong leg. You're scheduled for surgery to remove the other leg first thing in the morning."

 

The patient says, "Jesus H. f**k, doc! What's the good news?"

 

The doctor says, "The guy next door wants to buy your slippers!"

post #33 of 43

I can see these devices being replaced (or at least supplemented) by an iOS 'device' and a dedicated sensor/dongle:

 

Blood glucose meter

Pulse oximeter

Blood pressure monitor

EKG

Fetal heart monitor

Ultrasound

Polysomnography (sleep study)

 

It would be great for so many reasons.  However, the Affordable Care Act includes a medical device tax for manufacturers of such devices.

 

Nothing like labeling your law "affordable" and then taxing the very device makers who would create such devices.

 

Maybe Obama will quit smoking. lol.gif

 

Only in the good ole' US of A.

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post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlink View Post

Maybe Obama will quit smoking.

It does seem odd that he would smoke. Unfortunately some people probably think he's literally rolling his own cigarettes with pieces of the constitution.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlink View Post

I can see these devices being replaced (or at least supplemented) by an iOS 'device' and a dedicated sensor/dongle:

 

Blood glucose meter

Pulse oximeter

Blood pressure monitor

EKG

Fetal heart monitor

Ultrasound

Polysomnography (sleep study)

 

It would be great for so many reasons.  However, the Affordable Care Act includes a medical device tax for manufacturers of such devices.

 

Nothing like labeling your law "affordable" and then taxing the very device makers who would create such devices.

 

Maybe Obama will quit smoking. lol.gif

 

Only in the good ole' US of A.

You're kidding right? Harvard conducted a study showing that 70% of personal bankruptcies were medically related. Of those, over 50%, had insurance! WTF! 

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlink View Post

I can see these devices being replaced (or at least supplemented) by an iOS 'device' and a dedicated sensor/dongle:

Blood glucose meter
Pulse oximeter
Blood pressure monitor
EKG
Fetal heart monitor
Ultrasound
Polysomnography (sleep study)

It would be great for so many reasons.  However, the Affordable Care Act includes a medical device tax for manufacturers of such devices.

Nothing like labeling your law "affordable" and then taxing the very device makers who would create such devices.

Maybe Obama will quit smoking. lol.gif

Only in the good ole' US of A.

Your mention of sleep study brings back memories...

In the 1978-1989 timeframe we had computer stores in Silicon Valley. One of our best customers was Dr. William Dement head of the Stanford Sleep Center. They started using Apple ][ computers to monitor and report patient tests and observations. They eventually networked these Apple ][, and later Macs. Dr. Dement was well respected and apparently had Carte Blanche (grants) to buy whatever technology he needed... We even installed a LAN in his home on campus.

I remember one story from that era... The Sleep Center was interested in studying the effect of smoking pot on sleep disorders... So they were actively recruiting people to stay at the hospital, smoke a few, and be observed... The recruits were paid for their time and all expenses, plus free meals, room, services... AIR, the average stay was about a week?

Not too shabby duty!

I wouldn't be surprised if they use iPhones and iPads, for many of today's procedures.
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 1/26/13 at 12:36am
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

When these little sensors get cheap enough, perhaps new clothes will have them stitched in, beaming a warming to your phone if they detect a health problem. Of course if you're a nudist you will have no warning.

 

Nice.  Take it a step further and when my shirt detects my heart has stopped my phone can tell my shirt to give me a little shock to fire it up again.  =)

"Siri:  You SOOoooo  owe me!"   Android phones can send me an ad for the nearest cardiologist, I won't mind.

post #38 of 43
Does his device use the 30-pin connector or the new Lightning adapter? There has been a paucity of devices with Lightning connectors and I fear that only those users with older iPhones would be able to take advantage of this groundbreaking technology.
post #39 of 43
Given how cluttered the unlicensed WiFi spectrum is, it'd make sense to create a band that's dedicated to medical devices. Every WiFi chip would be able to use it, but only certain apps, mostly medical ones, would be able to access it.

Otherwise, we're going to find people whose heart attack symptoms go undetected because the guy in the next apartment is streaming a movie or because a microwave over in a cafe is warming up meals.
post #40 of 43
The iPads could be life savers, too - especially if you could make (at least emergency) calls with them.

But selling iPhones AND iPads is more important to Apple.
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