Apple iStethoscope App Goes On Sale

An iPhone application called the iStethoscope has apparently been downloaded by three million doctors worldwide, parting with 59p each.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the medical icon that is the stethoscope is disappearing from hospitals worldwide due to the increased use of smartphones as a substitute to the medical device.

Created by Peter Bentley, a researcher from University College London, the iStethoscope is now available as a free version which is being downloaded at the rate of 500 apps a day (or 15,000 a month).

Bentley is unsurprisingly very enthused about the possibilities offered by smartphones; these little portable computers are "incredibly powerful devices packed full of sensors, cameras, high-quality microphones with amazing displays".

They are therefore capable of "saving lives, saving money and improving healthcare in a dramatic fashion" and could in the future turn into fully fledged, integrated designs capable of taking ultra sound scanners or monitor a patient's blood pressure.

Now we're not sure about the "3 million doctors" figure, which originally appeared in the Guardian. The latest figures from the WHO (World Health Organisation) showed that there are around 10 million doctors worldwide with around two million in China alone.

It would be very surprising if three million doctors owned some sort of iPhone or iPod Touch devices.