The iPhone has always been built around a model of technological centralization where it provides the services of other devices, therefore rendering those devices somewhat useless and archaic in most situations. A perfect example of this is around the PDA and hand held gaming markets where the iPhone can complete these tasks perfectly, as well as hundreds of others. There really is little reason to have multiple devices that could be handled by a single one, and the iPhone sees itself filling this role.
This is not to say that the iPhone could then take the place of specially calibrated equipment, but it could replicate that equipment for more casual use. The perfect example of this is with the hotly anticipated iStethoscope that was recently developed by a researcher at the Unversity of College London. iStethoscope is, as one would expect, the digital replication of the standard physicians stethoscope. With iStethoscope you can press the iPhone up against you and the iPhone app can then begin to read your heart beat through the iPhone's sensor. Just as the lottery is specially labeled as not being a tool for financial investment, the developer has made it clear that iStethoscope will not replace a real stethoscope and is instead more for casual monitoring and fun.
This being said, it has still been reported that more than three million doctors have signed up for the application and the free iPhone app version is getting more than five hundred downloads daily. The suggestion from many doctors now is that iStethoscopecould mark a major step forward to a place where mobile devices like the iPhone could hold this ability, if they do not already.
iStethoscope is available for UK iPhone users, but now it is important to note that iStethoscope free has been pulled because of the incredible success of it. Now all that is available is iStethoscope free, but for under a pound it is still a worthy find.