IPhone5 for physicians

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Apple's new iPhone 5: thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone ever
Operating System: iOS 6
Weight: Less than 4 oz
1136 x 640 pixel screen
includes an iSight camera
Video: 1080p HD
Better "ear-pods"
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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, February 2018


See also Apple iPad for physicians | Apple iPhone4 for physicians | Docphin | Google Android for physicians | iPhone6 in medicine | mHealth | Web 2.0

The iPhone5 was released in 2012, and was the thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone to that point. Superceded by the iPhone6 in 2014, the iPhone5 is still widely used by physicians. Its screen is 7-8 inches smaller than the iPhone6, and includes an iSight camera. (The iPhone6 does not fit as well into lab coats, see measurements). Given the reliance on visual information in medicine, the iPhone5 has proven useful in managing information in all fields but especially medicine given its portability and functionalities. The iPhone5 is similar to the iPhone4S and the Samsung's Galaxy III. The first iPhone was released in 2007, and with this eighth generation smartphone, Apple has averaged a new version every year.

The use of the iPhone5 means that physicians and other health professionals are moving closer to paperless, money-less and office-less information practices. The ethics, safety and privacy concerns introduced by the iGeneration are of paramount interest and debate in medicine. To keep current with new information and applications for the Apple's iPhone5, see specialty website iMedicalapps | the leading physician publication on mobile medicine & this post: Top Ten Medical Uses of the iPhone

Attn: Smartphones are everywhere and there is an explosion of apps for productivity, research, reading, and studying. Librarians can better serve their communities by having expertise in mobile technologies. Learn all you can about the best apps for library users, including Evernote, Dropbox, Instapaper, iBooks, Kindle and GoodReader. To see an example of a project concerning smartphones and their impact on our thinking processes, see Barr N et al. The brain in your pocket: evidence that smartphones are used to supplant thinking. Comp Hum Behav. 2015;48:473–480.

Why bother with an iPhone?

  • Smartphones have the potential to reduce barriers to evidence-based practices, and to improve communication between physicians and their patients, even remotely.
  • One of the concerns expressed about using smartphones for clinical rounds in hospitals is their potential to distract clinicians from focusing on patients and their complaints.
  • There is a growing movement in some hospitals to write formal policies governing appropriate smartphone and iPad use during inpatient rounds.
  • According to Mosa et al (2012), smartphones are used in evidence-based medicine at point-of-care and are important in education, disease management and remote patient monitoring
  • Many health professionals say smartphones are critical to the future of medical practice (See Smartphones Becoming Integral Tools for Health Care Providers, Medical Students).
  • Early reports from those who have an iPhone5 say it is another leap ahead in functionality; others say it's not much different than the previous iPhones.
  • For information about the iPhone in Canada 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png, see http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/. Voice and data plans are available via Rogers, Telus, and Bell.

Apple iPhone 5

The new Apple iPhone5 has some great features:

  • iPhone5 is 7.6 millimeters thin; 8-hour battery, fastest, lightest (specifications)
  • Storage is 16GB, 32GB or 64GB; 1136 x 640 pixels (326ppi)
  • IPS Retina Display; iSight camera
  • LTE (long term evolution) standard for wireless communication of high-speed data
  • Better voicemail, widest screen multi-touch technology, simple, diamond sculpted
  • Functions as iPod with speakers; sort music by tapping & flipping through album covers
  • Improved camera, light & autofocus; records at 30 frames-per-second, edit on your phone

As applications are assessed by physicians, health librarians should also take steps to evaluate them (Kim, 2011). See apps in video above such as asthma tracker, diabetic diary, online stethoscope and Epocrates (see also website). Some apps are free, like Epocrates, but others offer paid versions with extra features.

App evaluation & pathfinders

Basic information & social media

More basic apps


Reading journals

Clinical decision-making

First consult.png

Clinical support


Medical reference

Dragon medical.png

Study tools

QxMD 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png


Medical schools and medical library websites

A number of American medical schools and libraries have developed 'optimized' versions of their library websites, see Medical sites for mobiles & ...

Unbound Medicine & the iPhone

Unbound Medicine (also uCentral) is one of the few medical information tools creating iPhone-optimized texts for titles such as the Merck Manual, Harrison's and Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Red Book® from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Davis's Drug Guide and Taber's. (See list of titles). Unbound MEDLINE takes advantage of a built-in Safari™ browser for wifi. Users navigate by tapping or entering terms to see information about diseases, drug monographs for dosing, interactions and adverse effects, etc. See http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline


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