The range of creative and practical apps that use the camera in unusual ways is astonishing. Who would have thought that you could use it as a heart rate monitor or a business card reader? There's even an app for those who are colorblind, to show them the colors present in any object you photograph.
Apple made a brilliant decision when it let developers create apps that access the camera input and use it in non-traditional ways. In this month's column, I offer a roundup of some of these apps.
Medical professionals need day-to-day access to vast troves of information as they help us confront the conditions that afflict us. The iPhone is a huge boom for them—no more searching through medical reference books or finding a computer to look up information online. With the iPhone, they can have it in the palm of their hand, wherever and whenever they need it. The App Store's Medical category includes apps that provide pharmacy and drug information, anatomy and electrocardiogram guides, the latest medical news, and much more.
Dr. Harvey Castro, blogger and Medical Editor for iPhone Life magazine, has created an app to prevent inadvertent over dosing from health professionals. IV MEDS has information on 45 intravenous medications and helps doctors and nurses calculate the doses for various concentrations. The app emphasizes that it's not a substitute for manual calculations by the health care provider, but rather serves as a valuable cross check. My personal feeling is that more of this kind of cross checking is needed, because one sometimes reads about patients who died as a result of getting the wrong dosage.
I've long been interested in how the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda can help a person be healthy, and have on occasion have consulted medical doctors who also have training in Ayurveda. This is called, as you may know, integrative medicine — doctors who combine a western approach to medicine (training as an M.D.) along with natural, holistic, and alternative therapies. If you'd like to find a practitioner of integrative medicine, this free app, called American College for Advancement in Medicine, helps you do so. You simply put in your Zip Code, and it gives you a list of doctors in your area.
As an emergency medicine physician, I know how much seconds count. It is extremely important to have the correct information when the patient can not give us key information. The idea behind In Case of Emergency is that it allows 1st responders a way to quickly access important information. Currently, the app store has several iphone apps that do this same function. The app called SMART ICE by EMS options LLC is a very good app. It contains all the information that one would need in the emergency setting and more. The app runs smooth and has several key features that I think are excellent. The top are:
1-) being able to prerecord information for the EMS
First Aid Corps and buuuk.com have created an iPhone app that can help you find an AED. The company is working on their database. If you find your self in this situation ask someone to call 911, begin CPR and ask someone for an AED. If one is not immediately available use this app to locate one. Hopefully, an ambulance will be there faster than you having to drive and get one.
Dan's inspirational story has been covered extensively online, on the radio and on television (NPR, MSNBC, Wired, Gizmodo, etc).
Woolley, who is from Colorado Springs and was in Haiti to film a documentary about child advocacy group, spoke with WTVJ-TV in Miami about his ordeal:
I had my iPhone with me and I had a medical app on there, so I was able to look up treatment of excessive bleeding and compound fracture," Woolley said. "So I used my shirt to tie my leg and a sock on the back of my head. And later used it for other things, like to diagnose shock: