rural cell phone

How far are you from the nearest heart monitor or ultrasound machine or high-tech imaging equipment? Reach in your pocket. Soon, cell phones will be able to provide these and other medical diagnostics.

“The cell phone is going to solve rural health-care problems, whether it’s rural India or rural Indiana,” Kristin Tolle, Microsoft Research’s program manager for external research in biomedical computing, told Business Week’s Olga Kharif. Microsoft is funding 17 research efforts into using cell phones for an array of medical purposes.

Kharif writes that Apple’s iPhone is being adapted for medical applications too. A new software program that works with the iPhone makes it possible to physicians far from a patient’s bedside to review that patient’s records — even brain scans and X-rays — with accuracy.

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