The Apple iPhone4 (seeiPhone5 for physicians) is a typical smartphone because of its features and computing capability. According to Mosa (2012) systematic review, smartphones are used in evidence-based medicine and at point-of-care, and play a vital role in patient education, disease self-management, and remote patient monitoring. In fact, physicians, medical students and faculty have been moving to mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad for a few years now. Many health professionals say these new technologies are critical to the future of medical practice. (SeeSmartphones Becoming Integral Tools for Health Care Providers, Medical Students). Reports from those using the iPhone 4 (HD) say its a leap forward in functionality. Apple's iPhone 4 was released in 2010 and, in 2012, the iPhone5 for physicians was released.
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.
Apple iPhone 4
Apple's iPhone has some great features:
7-hour battery time; fastest, lightest iPhone (specifications); 16 or 32GB storage; better resolution, size, weight than previous models
Better voicemail, widescreen ipod/ivod capability, Apple multi-touch technology and a simple, sculpted design
Functions as an iPod with speakers. Sort through digital music by tapping and flipping through album covers cases with a swipe of the finger
Improved 5 megapixel camera and autofocus; handset records video at 30 frames-per-second, which can be edited on your phone
3.5 inch (8.9 cm) capacitive touchscreen/'sensing' interface; fingerprint-resistant coating that repels dirt and oil (oleophobic)
Browser buttons are small, but basic controls are impressive
Smooth and pleasant to the touch with a nice heft without being heavy
iPhone apps in medicine
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 alsowebsite). Some apps are free, like Epocrates, but others offer paid versions with extra features.
Unbound Medicine (alsouCentral) is one of the few medical information tools creating iPhone-optimized texts. It emphasizes book titles such as the Merck Manual, Harrison's and the Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, 5-Minute Clinical Consult, the 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. Seehttp://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline