CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Medical and complementary and alternative medical uses of the iPhone

An MD points out that medical uses of the iPhone far exceed simply calling up health related videos. A technologically oriented MD's view of the iPhone potential is:
Later this year, we expect to hear about the first patients that diagnosed their MI via medical videos watched on their iPhone, and were able to alert EMS with the very same device. Then, hopefully, Steve Jobs will add a defibrillator to the second-generation iPhone... A portable device for watching medical videocasts and listening to podcasts would be helpful for medical education and displaying medical information for patients, but as MedGadget points out, you don't need an iPhone to do that -- you could use a regular video iPod.

One way to really leverage the special nature of the iPhone would be to use its integrated YouTube player. There's an increasingly large amount of medical education videos on YouTube -- for example, clinicalcases.org reviews pathology cases and echocardiogram teaching cases. There are many videos designed for patients as well.

Imagine a patient-physician encounter where the doctor pulled out an iPhone and punched up a video on YouTube that explained the patient's medical condition or the procedure about to be performed.
By the way, it feels a bit odd writing iPhone -- it's a sort of typographical hierogrlyphical code like writing the mystical name of God (or G-d as some prefer, because the "o" really shouldn't be in there for those transliterating the Hebrew trans-literally). Kind of like trading in multiple time frames and jumping between them, or like living more in virtual reality than in "real" reality. But before I get too mystical and rapturous, suffice it to say that self-diagnosis via the new phone is akin to your programmable in-skin robot alerting you via wireless chip directly to your brain or voice, your preference (just don't be a square or Luddite if the consensus technology has outpaced you) with alerts as to current health matters. Or if your weight pops over the BMI you would get a bleep.

I do not have my email beep at me when it arrives - that would be very annoying -- and have just decided not to have sound alerts on my day trading system when a stock price meets a certain limit. I can handle multi-sensorial stimulation on the screen now ... and through day trading, even via multiple screens, but adding the auditory is just overload.

At any rate, let us see where medicine and the iPhone evolve. It occurs to me that once we include complementary therapies we could, say, program the iPhone to monitor your chi and tell you when you need to stabilize your Chinese medicine pulse or otherwise by adding certain chi-improving factors to your diet or environment. Or maybe that wireless bleep to the brain would tonify your liver chi while improving your blood pressure as well.
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The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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