The latest downloadable apps have made existing smartphones double-up as something else, but can a medical app be used to make your smartphone double-up as a stethoscope or other viable medical diagnostic instrument?
By: Ringo Bones
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have X-Ray capable light-emitting-diodes that can allow current smartphones to double-up as portable hand-held medical X-Ray machines. But given that the built-in microphones in a majority of smartphones made by leading-brand manufacturers are supposedly as sensitive as the diaphragms of the medical doctor’s / general practitioner’s stethoscope; can downloading certain medical apps really make our smartphones double up as a medical-grade stethoscope?
One advantage that a mobile smartphone has over a traditional run-of-the-mill medical stethoscope is that the resulting medical data or diagnoses can be e-mailed to a certified medical doctor. Converting your smartphone into a viable and reliable medical diagnostic instrument can certainly be an advantage if you live in an area when a visit to a doctor involves a 3-hour – or longer – travel time.
Though smartphones with medical apps – if you don’t even have the most basic of medical training – is certainly no match to a well-trained medical doctor wielding a traditional stethoscope, it can be very useful in providing relatively inexpensive real-time medical diagnosis. Very useful if your pre-existing heart condition demands constant real-time monitoring without the prohibitive costs of dedicated hospital-based medical diagnostic gear.