The iPhone App Doc

It was just a matter of time. Doctors now use an iPhone app to treat patients.

It was just a matter of time. Doctors now use an iPhone app to treat patients.

Physicians can download for $14.99 an app called DizzyFIX, which will walk them through a treatment called the Epley Maneuver. The process is used to cure vertigo, which occurs when particles in the inner ear touch nerve endings used to maintain balance, making someone feel as if his or her surroundings are spinning. To treat vertigo, a doctor must tilt the head just so to move the particles away from the nerve endings.

Dr. Matthew Bromwich, an assistant professor in the division of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada, created the app because many doctors are not confident in applying the maneuver and patients suffering from vertigo must then wait for a long period to a see a specialist.

According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, the app works like this:

The patient holds the iPhone up to the forehead and the screen displays instructions to the doctor showing how to tilt and position the head.

The app monitors the head's movements and can tell the physician when the movements are not correct.

"It will show you what the motion should look like and measure the angles as you go. It will beep that you are in the correct position, tell you how long you should stay there and take you from step to step," said Bromwich. "It shows the right angle and the right speed. If you do it a little bit wrong, it won't work."

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