The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 2, 2013

New smartphone tools may help monitor health

WASHINGTON, DC —   It's not a "Star Trek" tricorder, but by hooking a variety of gadgets onto a smartphone you could almost get a complete physical without the paper gown or even a visit to the doctor's office.

  Blood pressure? Just plug the arm cuff into the phone for a quick reading.

  Heart OK? Put your fingers in the right spot, and the squiggly rhythm of an EKG appears on the phone's screen.

  Plug in a few more devices and you could have photos of your eardrum (Look, no infection!) and the back of your eye, listen to your heartbeat, chart your lung function, even get a sonogram.

  If this sounds like a little too much DIY medical care, well, the idea isn't to self-diagnose with Dr. iPhone. But companies are rapidly developingminiature medical devices that tap the power of the ubiquitous smartphone in hopes of changing how people monitor their own health.

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