Steve Jobs’ Legacy to the Medical Community

Steve Jobs has become synonymous with tech gadgets like iPhone, iPod and iPad which are primarily communication devices but he also left a legacy to the health care community that others may not know. Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are communication gadgets but they are more than that for the healthcare community as Steve Jobs’ innovations have revolutionized the medical practice and the relationship between doctors and patients.

iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

These gadgets may not have been meant as medical products but all of these mobile devices, including all the health applications designed specifically for them, have altered how the medical community - doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers – delivers care to their patients. The most basic function of these gadgets are for communication and in the hospital setting this would mean sharing visual information in order that patients better understand prognosis, conditions and options. One author said it perfectly when she tweeted:

“Hospital systems, nurses, physicians, medical offices, and patients are interacting differently due to one man’s vision of technology as the ultimate enabler.”

How it helps medical professionals

These mobile gadgets plus applications have made it easier for medical professionals to explain to their patients their medical conditions and the medical images available through the devices make it more real. We all know how much easier it is for us to comprehend things when we can see it with our own eyes. These mobile devices have also improved how efficiently the doctors and other healthcare workers perform their jobs since these gadgets have made it possible for them to enter, access, and share clinical data and the electronic medical record (EMR) even when they are not in their desks. These devices certainly has made it easy for them to work in partnership with their parents in finding better solutions for their conditions as well as make better medical decisions.

People are basically visual by nature, I don’t know about other you but I find it easier to understand medical explanations better when both I and my doctor are looking at it as she explains. With no medical background, except what my sister- who is a nurse - shares with me, medical terms are hard to understand. But seeing what it is, what it looks like, as well as all the possibilities makes it easier for me to comprehend. If the doctor is looking at the laptop while explaining then it doesn’t become personal and patients usually gets lost in all the medical jargon.

Medscape - one of the best iPhone medical app
Medscape - one of the best iPhone medical app

The iPad allows the doctor and the patient, even the family, the opportunity to look at it at the same time. The iPad and the other gadgets become medical products simply because it makes explaining x-rays and lab tests more conveniently. There is now a favorable situation that will bring about the much needed connection and sharing doctors and patients should have. And because these highly technical gadgets have been made user-friendly even those with limited IT knowledge can manage it and use it for their needs. And Apple continues to make it easier for the healthcare professionals to look and find the health applications for their iPhones and iPads as they launch a new section in the AppStore that’s specifically for the healthcare professionals.

Apps for Healthcare Professionals

According to iMedicalApps.com, an independent online medical publication that reviews mobile medical technology and applications, Medscape - the app developed by WebMD - is considered to be the number one downloaded medical app since 2009 . Physicians, medical students, and other healthcare workers should have Medscape because it is one of the most complete and comprehensive drug reference with drug interaction checker, disease and condition reference and treatment guide, procedures manual, medical news content, and CME activities, directory references and functions. It used to be available in iPhone only but has since been made available in iPads the difference mainly in the navigation and user interface of the app.

There are thousands of medical apps for these mobile devices it would astound anybody. It is completely mind boggling that the free content available in thousands of books can be made available in such a small device. I found that there are thousands of medical apps for the iPhone, such as the prescription medical reference app Micromedex, New England Journal of Medicine, Epocrates, Free Medical Calculators, Radiology 2.0 and many more.

On the other hand, the iPad has several great apps, like the eye chart on iPad, but iMedicalApps believe that though Apples tried to categorize the different med apps on iTunes with their Apps for Healthcare Professionals, they missed out on some extremely useful apps. The apps were not separated according to specialties or even by broad medical professions making it more difficult to find the app that they would really need. Still, these medical apps on iPad would be of huge help if only the person would know which one is best to download. Amazing that they need not bring or consult several books because the iPad is so handy, they can even put it in the pockets of their lab coats. And these medical products are formidable resource for everyday use in patient care. Aside from that, when Apple raised the bar for camera phones, they made it easier for patients to record physical symptoms which in turn they can send to their doctors. But more importantly, the iPhone can be used in ophthalmic surgery and reconstructive foot surgery which they can also show their patients again making it easier for the patients to make medical decisions.

In one of their keynotes, CEO of Apple Tim Cook announced that over 80% of hospitals in the US are now testing or piloting iPad. Even medical schools are implementing an iPad curriculum.

And all this is Steve Jobs legacy to the medical community through his genius.

See some of the Steve Jobs legacy at work.

The first video shows how one medical application allows an ob-gyne monitor his patient’s contractions making the mother more comfortable even in his absence. The next video shows how the iPad can be used in electric medical records and in this case as a virtual medical office with complete applications including patients list and all information per patient with allergies, and many more. At first I really could not believe the capability of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch until I saw it being used in a surgery.

iPad allows monitoring of patients, even expectant moms

use in surgery
use in surgery

Virtual Medical Office for iPad

All images from iMedicalApps.com.

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Comments 13 comments

carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Macs are amazing and so is all of the Apple line of products, we was a genius and certainly made his mark in the world!


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 5 years ago Author

Yes @carcro, he certainly made his mark and made our lives and connections a lot easier for all of us. Let's just hope that Apple will continue with what he has started. Thanks for taking the time to read my hub.


icciev profile image

icciev 5 years ago from Kuwait

didn't know that the iPhone, iPad is this much useful, certinly Steve Jobs has affected the hole world, thanks for sharing this. voted up


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 5 years ago Author

@icciev, yes I also didn't know that these devices are now being used as medical references until I read an article that featured the iPad being used in a surgery...amazing isn't it? Thanks for the vote up.


Bhavin Panara profile image

Bhavin Panara 5 years ago from India

Really a nice hub.

Thanks to steve jobs and thanks to you for sharing this information....


joejagodensky profile image

joejagodensky 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Very well presented. So an Apple a day doesn't always keep the doctor away! Thanks.


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 5 years ago Author

Thanks to the both of you for your kind comments.

@Bhavin, yes, one way or the other we have something to thank Steve Jobs for, even if we don't know him personally. Kinda makes me wish I did and maybe have a portion of his visions, lol.

@joejagodensky, if its the Apple with cam on it, it actually keeps the doctor near. Getting so hi-tech even in the hospitals eh...thanks again.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I always thought of the iPad as an enlarged iPod Touch until this hub...Steve Jobs will forever live on, his gifts will keep on giving. Thank you for this fantastic, informative hub!


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 4 years ago Author

@Sunshine, same here...that's what I thought so too until I saw all the things that it could do. Yup, his genius lives on in his creations, let's just hope another Steve Jobs comes along to give us more technological innovations that will continue to help u. Thanks for the nice comment.


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Steve Jobs will be missed dearly in the medical community. He revolutionized how doctors can relate to patients with the IPad. There are lab coats designed to house IPads in large pockets. Its the wave of the future. I have wrote a tribute to Steve Jobs as well. See it athttp://hubpages.com/technology/who-is-apple...


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 4 years ago Author

Thanks @jeyaramd for reading my hub and the comment. And you did a good job on your tribute to Steve Jobs. I guess they each have their own skills/visions and Tim Cook was truly trusted by Steve Jobs to carry on for him. If the big guy himself trusted him, then I guess we should, too.


JasonL99 profile image

JasonL99 4 years ago

Thanks for a wonderful Hub - I hadn't really given much thought to Steve Jobs and his contribution to medicine, it looks like he'll end up having helped people in many more ways than he realized.


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 4 years ago Author

You are very much welcome JasonL99. I am happy that in one way or another I at least was able to share something about Steve Jobs and his genius. Of course he also had a lot of help from other people just like in our daily lives, we help other people without realizing up to what extent that help will go. Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you again.

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