Monday, January 11, 2010

Ultrasounds to be shown live to fathers via iPhone

The new technology, which transmits video images via the 3G mobile phone network, was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Dr Topol, chief medical officer of the West Wireless Health Institute, which promotes the use of mobile phone technology in healthcare, demonstrated the technique by broadcasting images of an ultrasound examination in Sweden.

He said the new technology was designed to send ultrasound videos to doctors, friends and family, but could even be used to broadcast the examination to “Facebook, Twitter and the whole social networking scene”.

Dr Topol also showed the crowd an Apple iPhone application designed to allow doctors to check the vital signs of patients from any location.

Dr Topol said mobile phone applications have been developed to spot the early warning signs of the top ten causes of hospitalizations in the US, including Alzheimers, breast cancer and diabetes.

He said the technology had the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing doctors to act pre-emptively and avoid expensive hospital treatment.

“These things are empowering consumers to take charge of their health,” he said. “You know how we check our emails? Next year we will be sitting here with a Band-Aids on checking our vital signs.”