The world of biomedical apps: their uses, limitations, and potential

Many significant biomedical discoveries of old were made in the private property of famous scientists e.g. Leeuwenhoek and Archimedes. Today, discoveries are made in brightly-lit, hi-tech, ergonomic buildings that house research institutes. While such development is advantageous in many aspects, the spatial restriction of research into well-organized structures may delay and limit the spontaneity necessary for discoveries. The smartphone and peripheral mobile devices have the potential to not only increase the productivity and mobility of biomedical research, but also restore some freedom from spatial constraints. One possible way this can occur is the development of a mobile biomedical lab that allows researchers to carry out core research processes ‘on-the-go’ without being spatially restrained within a building or availability of equipment. For this exciting prospect, we surveyed the Google and Apple app stores, discussing the limitations and the potential of this area. Based on the developments, it appears to be just a matter of time before the majority of biomedical labs processes and equipment become mobile, centred on the smartphone and peripheral devices.

Journal Paper
Scientific Phone Apps and Mobile Devices 2016 2:6 DOI: 10.1186/s41070-016-0009-2
Date of acceptance: