Smartphone physicals are taking off with an explosion of apps and attachments

There’s no shortage of smartphone apps to help people track their health. And in recent months, medical apps have started growing up, leaving behind the novelty of attaching probes to a smartphone to offer, they hope, serious clinical tools.
Last month in a Ted Talk, Shiv Gaglani showed that a standard physical exam can now be done using only smartphone apps and attachments. From blood pressure cuff to stethoscope and otoscope — the thing the doctor uses to look in your ears — all of the doctor’s basic instruments are now available in “smart” format.
Gaglani described the project, called Smartphone Physical, as putting together “the new physicians handbag of the 21st century.”
The work has generated a lot of interest and will likely become the basis for a company. Working with fellow medical students Michael Hoaglin and Michael Batista, Gaglani has identified best-in-class devices and apps. The team is setting standards to continue to expand the list with apps and add-ons that are proven to work. They’re also exploring ways to make all of the individual tools work better together.