WA blood pressure monitor, which plugs into an iPhone or iPad, recently received FDA approval, marking the expanding use of smartphones as health maintenance devices.
The device, created by Withings, is a simple cuff the plugs directly into the 30-pin connected of an iOS device. The free app reads the wearer's blood pressure and heart rate, and then sends the data to a doctor or synchronizes directly with electronic medical record systems like Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault.
Remote medical monitoring could save the U.S. nearly $200 billion in health costs over 25 years, according to a two-year-old study. That's, in part, because devices like the cuff, which let people relay frequent medical data to health care providers to track problems before they get serious and require more drastic interventions.
The portability, flexible computing power and connectivity of smartphones enables less expensive designs for home health devices, and several companies are entering the market.