In addition to the ECG apps reported on earlier, cardiologists have a diverse set of additional diagnostic apps to add to their black bags. These cardiology apps can speed diagnosis in the cardiologist’s exam room. In addition, the apps can also be used for remote consultation. For example, a family practitioner in a outlying clinic can acquire the information and send it to a central location for a cardiologist’s review.
A stethoscope app from Thinklabs allows recording of sounds and waveforms in real time on an iPhone. The results can be edited, saved with notes, and sent via email for consultation. It works in conjunction with a compatible electronic stethoscope.
Recording and saving stethoscope sounds as part of the patient record, has the potential of eliminating subsequent confirmation tests such as an echo. More information is available at http://www.thinklabsmedical.com/iphone-a-ipod-touch-app.html
However, not all of the information obtained by an echocardiogram must be obtained in a followup test. Now it may be acquired by a cardiologists as part of the physical exam using a handheld device such as the Vscan by GE Healthcare.
The Vscan is a point and shoot device with automatic gain adust and auto detection of full heart cycle for review or storage. Images can be also be sent as email attachments for consultation.
A Scripps Clinic assessment of the device and a video of a bedside assessment can be found at http://www.multivu.com/mnr/50963-vscan-pocket-ultrasound-echocardiogram-stethoscope
Rounding out a cardiologist’s tool kit is a blood pressure app for the iPhone or iPad. The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor connects with any iOS device and was FDA cleared for market mid 2011. The cuff is wrapped around the arm and when plugged into the iOS device, automatically launches the app. The results are time stamped, saved and can be emailed to a physician or synced with a personal health record site such as the Microsoft HealthVault.
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJlu7Q2J1bU&feature=player_embedded to watch a demonstration video.
Apps for cardiology are not restricted to the exam room. After receiving an iPad as a gift, Dr. Ran Kornowski, chief of invasive cardiology, the Invasive Cardiology Institute of Rabin Medical Center, recognized the advantages of sharing information collected during a catheterization procedure. After working with the CPACS vendor, McKesson, he now uses the iPad to show and discuss the procedure with patients and family.
There’s a cath-app for that http://www.theheart.org/article/1325499.do (free subscription may be required). Dr. Kornowski’s presentation at the Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions 2011 meeting: http://paragon-conventions.net/ici2011/images/stories/pdfs/1400_Kornowski_A_Mon.pdf