Monday, June 09, 2008

Apple Releases New Medical iPhone 3G Device: the iShrink


Steve Jobs today unveiled Apple's latest cool new device, the iShrink.  The handheld device is the latest Cupertino offering for its e-health initiative, following in the steps of its highly successful iKG for monitoring the heart, and the iXRay Nano.

The iShrink follows the iPhone form factor, while adding an alcohol breathalyzer to detect the user's alcohol level.  Initially aimed at the emergency psychiatry market, the electronic psychiatric aide also capitalizes on its camera, microphone, and accelerometer.  The accelerometer is usually used to detect screen orientation, but new software can analyze rapid changes, resulting in the ability to distinguish among a Parkinsonian tremor, a lithium tremor, and EPS.  It can even detect objective akathisia, according to Apple's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Benjamin Rush.  "This does not replace the psychiatrist, but helps busy E.D. physicians get a better assessment before deciding to order a psych consult."

The camera's facial recognition software can detect the amount of lid lag, helpful in assessing for thyroid conditions and also intoxication, while also looking for tardive dyskinesia movements.  The microphone can assess for slurred speech, and uses the Dragon Dictate engine for speech recognition.  Software written by psychiatrists and programmers at the University of Maryland provides cognitive behavioral therapy, and the software can be updated via iTunes in response to the most up-to-date evidence-based medicine findings.  If a psychiatrist is  recommended, the iShrink can also be used to contact a telemedicine psychiatrist, who can interact with the E.D. physician and with the patient in real-time.

"It can even be used to listen to our podcasts on My Three Shrinks," notes psychiatrist Dr. Roy.  His colleague, Dr. Clink Shrink, noted "What I like best about it is that you can use it to go to iTunes and write a review."

While the price of the iShrink is a steep USD$599 (much more than the iPhone 3G at USD$199), many groups feel it is worth the expense.  But not everyone feels the hot new device is worth all the attention.  Dr. Dinah from the Shrink Rap blog said, "I can't even figure out how to use the darn thing, and if I got one I'd surely spend all my time on it, so forget it."

The iShrink will be available on July 11 in 62 countries.

10 comments:

Dinah said...

You're lost it. You've totally lost it.

I could work it just fine, thank you, and I've never used the word "darn" in my life. Plus, ClinkShrink doesn't have a space in her name.

How did you do that with the picture?

I'm sticking you in solitary confinement for a while.

Anonymous said...

Glad someone in ShrinkLand is observing the WWDC!

marcia said...

hilarious. especially ClinkShrink's quote ("go to iTunes & write a review").

long-time listener, recent reader - decided I was missing half the fun!

therapy patient said...

I LOVED it! Very funny!

Aqua said...

I laughed so hard when I read the first couple sentences in this post; especially, "The handheld device is the latest Cupertino offering...".

Years ago some friends and I randomly chose a word to mean cool, hip, awesome...the word that appeared to us in the dictionary, or whatever it was we were randomly choosing from was "Cupertino".

We went on to use this word for years anytime we thought something was great...as in that is so cupertino!" ...so perfect for this post

Doc said...

I've heard the ECT headset attachment is in the works.

NeoNurseChic said...

Quite funny! At first I was like, "This can't be real." And then I read a few more lines and was like, "Hmmm...IS this real?" Then I read a little more and laughed and thought, "OH this is quite creative!"

I needed something to laugh about right now!! Thanks for that!!

Take care,
Carrie :)

Anonymous said...

Great, now the doc can look down my throat and check to see that I swallowed the pills but iThink that some of the other phones have better built in cameras plus any shrink who uses this should have healthy eating habits since iHave seen people with greasy hands try to answer their phone--hilarious.The Bberry is a better bet for a phone but get the Touch for the other features because they are pretty cool and because we are a bit touched in the head anyway you slice it.

Dr. A said...

Good stuff. Must have this phone!

Roy said...

I've decided I'm getting one (the real phone) when it comes out in 1 month. I can't wait... they're so... Cupertino!

And thank you, Marcia... glad to convert a listener to a reader, too.

Oh, and Dinah, haven't you figured out I'm a Photoshop wiz, also? I particularly liked the glassy sheen I applied to the whole device, thus convincingly merging the MTS logo layer with the iPhone layer. (Yes, when "life gets in the way", this is an example of what that means... lol.)