It’s a busy office day, and Mrs. J is seated calmly in my exam room. She has a history of an intermittent heart rhythm disturbance. She says she feels well, but that she also gets a little dizzy at times and feels her heart skip once in a while. The nurse who took the vitals typed “pulse irregular” on the electronic chart. The last few times Mrs. J was in the office, the vitals were similar, and an ECG was usually obtained, showing only a minor abnormality.
I’d like to know if anything has changed, but it takes a couple of minutes to order the ECG, have the patient disrobe, attach 16 leads of the machine, and then record the rhythm –and I’m already a little behind.
Instead, I pull out my smartphone and ask Mrs. J to hold it gently in her hands for 15 seconds. Voila! On its display (and immediately uploaded wirelessly to a secured server) is Mrs. J’s heart rhythm, showing no significant change.
I am a tech nut and, some would say, an Apple “fan boy” (Okay, let’s get this straight, I am STILL using an iPhone 4, but for good reason. Keep reading to learn why!). I’m the one at the office who colleagues frequently come to for app advice. My latest app acquisition connects my personal interest to my professional work.
Typically, when talking all things Apple, I use the word “toy” frequently. This time, however, I can confidently say that my latest iPhone 4 case falls into the category of “tool.” And when I say tool, I mean an incredibly powerful device that is the first of many in the mobile realm that may significantly change health care.