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The humble stethoscope is a tool instantly associated with doctors but this may soon be made redundant as many medical professionals use apps on their smartphones to monitor the heartbeats of their patients. If you’re a doctor who doesn’t yet have a smartphone it may be worth selling your mobile and buying one.

Peter Bentley, a researcher from University College London, developed an app for the Apple iPhone which turns it into a stethoscope. Usually retailing at 59p, a free version has been made available and is being downloaded 500 times a day.

"Everybody is very excited about the potential of the adoption of mobile phone technology into the medical workplace, and rightly so," said Bentley, who initially developed the app "as a fun toy".

"Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices packed full of sensors, cameras, high-quality microphones with amazing displays," he said. "They are capable of saving lives, saving money and improving healthcare in a dramatic fashion – and we carry these massively powerful computers in our pockets."

Bentley has ideas for many other apps, but is unable to because of outdated rules and regulations. He says: "It's much easier to develop technology than it is to get permission to use it.

"I could create a mobile ultrasound scanner and an application to measure the oxygen content in blood, but the regulations stop me. We're not allowed to turn the phone itself into a medical device, and what that precisely means is currently a grey area in terms of regulation. That's the only reason we're not seeing a flood of these devices yet."

Exchange your mobile phone for cash, get a smartphone and ditch the cold stethoscope which gives patients shivers!

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apple | iphone | exchange mobile phone | sell mobile phone | doctor | stethoscope | app

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