As a rule, news and articles tell you how dangerous and risky technology may be for your health, but very few people seem to focus on the good things that smartphones can do. Let me start with a story that I've recently heard. As far as I can tell, this is an actual event that really happened. During a flight, a passenger started convulsing in pain, so the pilot sought help through the intercom. After the announcement, one of the other passengers who happened to be a doctor, took out his smartphone, connected it to a heart monitor and successfully diagnosed the heart attack in progress. At the doctor's recommendation the pilot performed an emergency landing, rushed the patient to a hospital and, as a result, the passenger survived.
While this was undoubtedly a very fortunate series of events, you cannot deny that the smartphone and the attached device played an important part in saving the man's life. And that's not the only case: apps like ICE (In Case of Emergency) save lives every day. Moreover, nowadays there are a lot of devices and apps which can help you take care of your health. And I'm not talking about fitness trackers and annoying apps that tell you to take a walk when you've been sitting down for too long (even though those are helpful too). Here are some of the most impressive smartphone-powered devices that help you monitor your health:
- Smart Blood Pressure Analyzer - is a neat device created by Withings. The gadget, which only works with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices is actually a wrist cuff which connects to your smartphone through a 30-pin connector. It measures the systolic, diastolic pressure and heart rate, saves the data and makes it easily shareable via email if your doctor needs to see a history of your heart condition. The Blood Pressure Analyzer is capable of creating multiple profiles, in case your family members want to use it too.
- Blood Glucose Monitoring System - I'm not sure if you remember, but not very long time ago, keeping track on the levels of glucose in your blood required frequent visits to a hospital. Now, all you need is a smartphone and iBGStar's Blood Glucose Monitoring System and you can do it in the comfort of your home. Furthermore, the app which controls the device is also capable of transmitting the data to your doctor via email.
- Scanadu Scout - is a pretty interesting device that does not diagnose a specific condition, instead it keeps a record of your day to day health and alerts you in case of changes that indicate health problems. All you need to do is to press this gadget (which looks like a puck) to your forehead for ten seconds and it will gather the information, including your heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation level, ECG, emotional stress and blood pressure. All the data is then sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth where it can be stored or easily shared with others.
- BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer - this smart breathalyzer can also be a lifesaver, though in a slightly different way. The small device measures the alcohol level of your breath and sends the information to your smartphone through Bluetooth. I know what you are thinking, "I'd love to see the man who's drunk enough to be incapable of driving home, but sober enough to responsibly use this thing." That may be true, but the gadget offers you a direct way to prove your drinking buddy that he or she is actually too drunk to drive home.
- Other gadgets - Of course these were just some of the smartphones devices that can be really helpful for your health. Others include smart ultrasound gadgets, otoscopes, microscopes, dermatoscopes, etc. Some devices can even turn your phone into a Petri Dish to analyze microorganisms. Furthermore, there are a number of other cool inventions which could revolutionize the medical world, such as breath analyzers that can detect lung cancer, but since they are still in development and aren't very close to reality we will talk about them a bit later.
Medical emergencies aren't the only cases when your phone can be an actual superhero. There are other kinds of situations in which having the right app or smartphone-powered device can prove to be crucial. An Android app called Swiss Knife is one of the tools you'd like to have on you always. The application is comprised of multiple small tools, including a compass, a flashlight, a ruler, a protractor, a magnifying glass, etc. All of these can turn out very helpful in dire situations. Another life-saving tool is a device called First Sign, which looks like a pendant that can be clipped to other wearables or even to your keychain. When it detects pressure (so basically if you fall) the device automatically sends a distress signal to its network and it can even instruct your phone to gather evidence that can help identify and prosecute your attacker. Lastly, a smartphone case called Smart Spray holds a bottle of liquid which can be dispersed through the embedded atomizer. The case can be used to hold your favorite perfume, but it can also be filled with pepper spray and used for self defense in case of emergency.