Medical Technology: Only Phone Call Away

It’s only a matter of time before cops are wielding iphones and thrusting them in the faces of motorists, activating the breathalyser application and demanding they expend breath for 10-15 seconds. Or nurses are nonchalantly sliding the unlock button to the right before asking their patients to say “ahh” into the headphone jack. But how far will phones and medical technology travel?

Mobisante is a Washington-based health startup company who this week, in what’s been labelled a world first, announced FDA approval of the smartphone-based MobiU portable ultrasound unit. Requiring nothing more than a wand and some gel, doctors – or anyone for that matter – can conduct an ultra-sound examination and transmit the information via WiFi to their patients or other doctors.

The only catch is, users require a Windows Mobile 6.5 Toshiba TG01 smart phone and around $7000 in the bank. Just like the original flatscreen TV, this price is sure to plummet rapidly over the next few years.

With so much technology at our finger-tips, have we only scratched the surface of what is professionally and commercially attainable? Recent social network phenomenons have illustrated how flippantly we exchange our personal information and the carefree way we approach security. As the gap closes between what is acceptable in the social and professional arenas, doctors could well be in danger of forwarding on the wrong information to the wrong person. Just like Australian sports players.