New iPhone OS Brings With It Improved Medical App Powers

March 20, 2009

Earlier this week, Apple previewed the next version of the iPhone operating system.

Earlier this week, Apple previewed the next version of the iPhone operating system. With the improved APIs for developers, it really opens up the iPhone for increased use as a medical tool.

iPhone OS 3.0 brings some new much-wanted features for the end user, but the real power of the new mobile operating system is being given to application developers. Apple has created over 1,000 new application programming interfaces (APIs) for the iPhone. APIs are the tools that developers use to access a device's different features and functions. Previously, Apple had restricted developers in what they could access. Now, they've opened up nearly the entire device to developers' fancies.

What this all means is, the iPhone is about to see another major boost in functionality.

One of the highlights of the event (from a medical standpoint) was the demonstration made by Anita Matthew of Lifescan. Lifescan (owned by Johnson & Johnson) makes blood glucose monitoring products for both home and hospital use. It demonstrated an iPhone-based tool for monitoring glucose levels. "Given the new SDK," said Matthew, "the meter can transmit the data over Bluetooth or the dock connector" to a computer or other device and store than information or send it on as a report. Another function of the application allows users to plan and map out exercise and dieting, while it keeps track of glucose levels.

This is the tip of the iceberg. By allowing developers to reach more of the base functions of the iPhone, Apple has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, especially for medical purposes. The device can now better serve as a link between patient and clinic for reporting information and more. At this point the only question remaining is, how far will the medical field take it? They will only be limited by their creativity.

The entire Apple keynote, including the Lifescan demonstration, can be viewed here: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/0903lajkszg/event/index.html

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