Doctors in Japan use iPhone and iPad for health care and fitness applications

Health care and fitness applications for sophisticated mobile devices like iPhone and iPad are booming in Japan. Jikei University Hospital has launched an iPhone application designed to assist diagnosing stroke symptoms in patients and is partnering with Fujifilm to develop a system for other hospitals to use the application. Dr. Hiroyuki Takao, a member of the hospital’s neurosurgery department, developed the application, which examines CT images of brain from various 3-D angles. The software enables the hospital to quickly decide whether surgery is necessary. Looking at CT images of brain aneurysm patients on their iPhones, for example, doctors not at the hospital–perhaps at home, or remotely based–can give their opinions based on images of the aneurysm’s shape.

One fee-paying application available in Japan allows for the quick transmission and examination of data relating to patients’ electrocardiograms, pulse and body temperatures. Other applications include a guidebook to providing treatment in emergency situations and one for properly dispensing medicine. Letters of referral for patients needing emergency treatment can also be sent to hospitals that have agreed to accept them. During patient consultations, doctors also use the larger display iPads to assist them with explanations.