Would You Trust a Doctor Checking Your Heart with a Goddamn iPhone?

By Kyle Wagner on at

You're in a doctor's surgery, about to get a heart test that could be all that stands between you and dropping dead during a sporting event. The doctor pulls out his iPhone, which is a little unprofessional, you think, let's get down to the — HOLY GOOD GOD HE'S USING IT TO RUN THE ACTUAL TEST??? Meet the Alivecor Heart Monitor iPhone case.

Affordable electrocardiogram (ECG) screening is actually a real need (the AliveCor monitor is just £160-odd), even though you've probably never heard of it. Failure of the ECG screens to detect underlying heart conditions is suspected to have led to many young athletes going into cardiac arrest, and sometimes death. Children's lives literally depend on these things. And being approved for use in medical exams in the US is about as good an endorsement as you can get, save for our own NHS picking it up.

Appending sensors onto the computing power of a device you probably already have is a fine and efficient idea. There are other medical iPhone uses, like blood sugar tests for diabetics, or simple heart monitors. And again, AliveCor has all of the backing of the US FDA, as well as the encouraging responses from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.

But still. It's a damn iPhone. This is already a fairly easy test to misread, and now you're watching some dipshit doctor pull his iPhone out of his pocket, flip it on, while dismissing his banner notifications on his lock screen, and firing up your test. And you, being a relatively tech-savvy person, notice it's only good on an iPhone 4 or 4S. Ugh. This is going to become more common, and honestly, probably doesn't mean too much regarding the quality of tests, maybe. But man, wouldn't that make you just a little more nervous than you would be with a big, beeping hunk of plastic on wheels form the 70s? [AliveCor via Dvice]