Thursday, March 6, 2008

iPhone SDK -- Not Just for Radiologists

iPhone fans everywhere rejoiced as Apple today released its software developer kit (SDK) for the iPhone. Hopefully, third-party applications will become available with the release of the iPhone 2.0 update in late June 2008. The free beta iPhone SDK is available immediately.

MacWorld editor Jason Snell's liveblogged today's Apple iPhone Event. Apparently, a few weeks before today's release, Apple did a very cool thing: they
... called up a handful of companies, and asked them to send out a couple of engineers each, to see what they could accomplish in two weeks on an SDK they'd never seen before. In fact, most of them had never touched a Mac for development before.
A number of these nifty applications were then shown to the crowd. One of my faves:
10:41 PT: In two weeks, they wrote a game, Touch Fighter. OpenGL game, OpenAL for audio. Using accelerometer to fly the ship by moving the phone, and tap on the screen to fire.
I'm not big on gaming, but can imagine using this same technology to fly through a 3D CT scan like the one below, by banking my iPhone back and forth. I'll bet that the mighty radiologist-programmers at OsiriX are already licking their chops at the thought of this. IMHO, an iPhone-based medical image viewer would immediately launch a lot of iPhones into the hands of not just radiologists, but practicing physicians of all ilk.

10:56 PT: Next: Epocrates. "Every doctor knows about Epocrates." Now Glenn Keighley from Epocrates. Shows a drug lookup UI, so doctors can find a drug, tap to view information about the drug. They used SQLite to store their drug data, and used the iPhone's high-resolution screen to show drug images for the first time on any mobile platform.
This will be the killer iPhone app for my spouse, a clinician who uses Epocrates daily when writing prescriptions.

Just 3 and 1/2 more months -- Woot! Woot!

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