Last week, two medical technology companies -- Unbound Medicine and Life Record -- unveiled medical applications for Apple's iPhone. The iPhone, which functions as a normal cell-phone as well as a digital music player and web browser, utilizes touch-screen technology with an intuitive response to finger movements. Now medical professionals can use the iPhone to access urgently needed information and write prescriptions.
Unbound, a wireless technology company specializing in knowledge management and mobile information sources for healthcare, has an array of products available for the iPhone. Their custom interface takes full advantage of the iPhone's Safari web browser, allowing doctors and nurses to access information almost instantaneously. Unbound focuses on well-known journals, and has made available popular titles like McGraw-Hill's Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests
, Harrison's Medical Manual
, and Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
. The company also offers a service called Unbound Medline, which lets clinicians track their favorite journals and search a database of over 17 million articles.
"Typically 70% of clinical questions go unanswered. Now, with pocket-sized Internet devices we can bring medical knowledge to the point of need, thereby improving patient care and reducing medical errors," said Bill Detmer, MD, President and CEO of Unbound Medicine. "By adding the iPhone to the long list of devices supported by the Unbound Platform we can help busy doctors and nurses stay abreast of the latest developments in their fields."
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Life Record, who introduced the first web-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software in 1998, has made its EMR 3.1.0 Release available on the iPhone. The software, which also utilizes the iPhone's Safari web browser, gives doctors remote access to patient records. This means they can review histories, analyze images, and write prescriptions while away from the office.
If reaction to the iPhone is the same in the medical community as it was among die-hard Apple devotees, these new products mean good things for the future of Health Information Technology (HIT).