Smartphones Are the New Stethoscope

Smartphones could be the most important diagnostic tool of this century as part of a revolution in digital wireless medical devices, according to Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist working at The Scripps Research Institute, speaking at the TedMed conference last year. In a video released earlier this week, Topol shows off patches communicating with his smartphone to continuously monitor his vital signs.

I spoke briefly about this intersection of medicine and technology with Dr. Mohit Kaushal, director of health care for the FCC’s Broadband Strategy Initiative, earlier this week, who said that the FCC and the FDA were trying to establish rules to approve regulations that would allow diagnostics to move to smartphones. And who knows, maybe if the smartphone becomes useful for medical monitoring, perhaps those costly data plans will be reimbursed by insurance providers.

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