Sunday, November 24, 2013

New medical device emerges

At first, I thought it was an isolated incident.  @Bob_Wachter from UCSF reported on Twitter:

Lines betwn personal/professional contnue 2 blur, as I now use my @iPhone flashlght 2 look into my patients mouths. OK 2 clean it w/ alcohl?

I jokingly responded:

This makes me feel a bit uneasy, Bob. What if the phone rings? Or worse, buzzes! :)

He answered:

Good point, tho its not inside mouth (just outsde). Its 1 more sign of Swiss-army-knife nature of iPhone: 1 less thing 2 to carry

But then @drsusanshaw from Saskatchewan jumped in:

Just the other day I used iPhone flashlight to help surgeon identify bleeding vessel in an ICU patient.

They say it usually takes 14 years for a new medical device or procedure to infuse the market. Is this one faster?  Please comment if you have seen similar examples.


Thomas Pane said...

It works! The light app is bright and the phone is always handy.

Anonymous said...

If the iPhone were an "approved" medical device, it would have been manufactured by Philips, GE, or Siemens, cost $17,200 a pop, and taken eleven years to bring to market.

Anonymous said...

I once had a patient with a severe burn. The burn specialist said from my description she had zero chance of survival and I should write a DNR order and keep her comfortable. I advocated for at least an in-person consult. He said if I could email him some pictures he’d consider. The iPhone had just come out. One of my nurses had just bought one and had never used the camera function. Together we figured it out and took and emailed 5 or 6 pictures of her burns to show the extent, without any reference to any manual or instructions. It was easy and intuitive. Based on the pictures the consultant agreed to accept the patient (he thought I’d overestimated the burn extent). Sadly she died anyways, but her family (and I) felt better that she had an expert consultant see her first.

Now I use my phone on duty constantly, I have reference apps for prescribing, a number of clinical calculators, and I save local protocols and such on a document saving app. It cuts down how often I have to walk away from the bed by over 75% I’d say. I think patients LIKE IT when I look stuff up in front of them.