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Posted By Peter Bentley
It's the app that never stops! I've been asked for permission for my iphone app iStethoscope Pro to appear in the "Yearbook for Physicians and Dentists," which is published annually by a German savings bank at quite a large scale: 50,000 copies. In the chapter on "Trends and Future" this year, there will be a section on Medical Apps which features my little app. Details of the yearbook are online here: http://www.rebmann-research.de.

I also just gave a talk at a NERC-funded Mobile App Workshop, held at 86 St James' Street in London. It was filmed, so you may be able to find the talk online sometime in the future. Details of the event here.


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
I've been asked to be a consultant on the IT Future of Medicine EU Flagship project proposal team. This is an exciting vision of the future of medicine, where computers will be used to model all aspects of patients to provide doctors with personalised predictions of likely illnesses for their patients. The flagship, if funded, will be something of the scale of the Apollo Space Programme - integrating data and models with the latest high performance computing, cloud computing and mobile computing technologies. My experience in modelling, for example as described in the book On Growth, Form and Computers (and in the work with many of my PhD students) and medical computing - for example, through the iStethoscope Pro app should hopefully be of some benefit!


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
My iphone app iStethoscope Pro is in the media again, this time appearing as a short piece in the BBC World TV Healthshow, series 1, episode 2. Rockhopper TV films this show in the new Cancer Research building in London. Although it's broadcast all over the world with audience figures more than 200 Million, it's not shown in UK and most of USA, so if you can't find it online on Rockhopper's website, here's a link to the iStethoscope segment.

iStethoscope Pro is also being featured next month in Freundin magazine a fortnightly women's lifestyle magazine in Germany. Many thanks to everyone for their interest!


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
I created one of the first medical apps for the iPhone - iStethoscope - back in 2008, and it's one of the few that still receives significant media attention and downloads each month. But things are finally changing in North America as the FDA have released draft guidance on regulations for medical apps. These regulations look set to restrict many iPhone apps in the future. I've always tried to make it clear that my app is intended as a demonstration of the technology and as a way to promote awareness of healthy hearts for the general public. Just as functioning toy stethoscopes are sold in USA without FDA approval, so I would hope my app could be sold in the same way. In the meantime I am working with a medical device company to produce a new version of the app designed specifically for use in medicine.

However, as we discussed in the recent nat ure.com blog these new regulations may have a dramatic effect on the future of medical iPhone apps. It's conceivable that my own app may be classed as a medical device and I'll be forced to remove it from North American stores (I hope not all stores worldwide). It's also conceivable that an over-strict interpretation of the regulations may stifle innovation in the future. So while we welcome regulation of apps that are intended to be used for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease, I hope this will not restrict the diversity of developers of medical apps, for their creativity now may lead to life-saving devices in the future.

What happens next? Only time will tell.

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Posted By Peter Bentley
UCLAdvances was hosting a one week course on mobile apps (as part of RBS, IOIT Interreg and Capital Enterprise sponsored events). On Thursday I was invited to chair a panel discussion for them on app development. It was a fascinating experience, with some very interesting speakers:

Kenton Price - Director and Chief Architect - Little Fluffy Toys Ltd, Luke Whittaker - Director - Illustrator and Animator - State of Play, Georgina Mackenzie - Director Toytek - Board Member TIGA, Kieran Gutteridge - CTO and Co-Founder of Interhand

I know I learned a few interesting things from these successful app developers (although it was nice that I seemed to be the only one who'd had a number 1 best selling app!)