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Iphone App May Replace Stethoscope


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stethoscope and computer

Credit: iStockPhoto.com

iPhones can function as stethoscopes using a new application developed by a University College of London (UCL) computer scientist and cardiologist researchers. The app, known as iStethoscope pro, allows users to listen to heartbeats, and displays the heat waveform on the screen. Users can email the audio file and spectrogram to colleagues. They also can shake the iPhone to hear the last eight seconds, and see a phonocardiograph display and a spectrogram.

UCL's Peter Bentley says cardiologists believe the app works better than expensive custom medical devices. "Because it is designed to play MP3 files and is mass produced, the audio hardware in a smartphone is of higher quality than is normally used in stethoscopes," he says.

Future medical uses of smartphones could include ultrasounds and monitoring blood pressure.

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