In the past several years, doctors have quickly integrated tablets into medical science. Why do practitioners find them invaluable when making rounds? For starters, medical discoveries happen so quickly it can be tough to keep up without a computer in your pocket or by your side, for reference. Also, a multimedia presentation often helps explain a diagnosis more clearly than a doctor’s sketch on the back of your chart. A physician can also review years of a patient’s medical records on an iPad or tablet.

And then there’s the tablet as diagnostic tool. Accessories with capabilities far beyond a fisheye lens or blue ray microphone have been developed that you can plug into a tablet and turn into a cutting edge microscope or blood glucose meter. Check out some of the amazing medical science that can be unlocked on that same piece of equipment you use to relive the glory days of Tetris.


While no one likes to have their finger pricked, it’s a part of a life-saving test that must be performed regularly by many diabetics. The GlucoDock module goes beyond the standard blood sugar meter by automatically creating a diary of the patient’s blood sugar level and makes it easy to input medical history details. Aligning the blood sugar history with the time of day, time of insulin intake and the type of insulin used can be crucial to maintaining a patient’s well-being. The Glucodock is designed to plug into a tablet’s docking section.


Made by the same company as the Glucodock—Medisana—the Thermodock puts your nana’s thermometer to shame. Using infrared technology, it’s able to read your body temperature in seconds. (For those who are partial to party tricks, it’s also able to read the temperature of wine in the same amount of time.) If you’re tracking an illness’ cycle it also maintains a valuable history.

Dino-Lite Microscopes

The Dino-Lite Microscope is small enough that even a child can hold it in his or her hand, yet powerful enough it magnifies the subject matter as much as 200 times. For physicians who need to look at the ear canal, the Dino-lite can also be fitted with an earscope, enabling a view much more detailed than what’s typically seen with an otoscope. This compact piece of technology connects to your tablet with an optional Wi-Fi router and offers a 1.3 megapixel resolution.

iHealth Blood Cuff Monitor

The iHealth Blood Cuff Monitor syncs wirelessly to your tablet and makes it possible to track your systolic/diastolic numbers, heart rate, pulse wave and measurement time. The included app monitors any changes in your numbers so you can compare results against history.


Detecting and diagnosing skin cancer is not always an easy thing to do. Using the Dermlite, dermatologists have access to a 25 mm four-element lens and 28 high-powered LEDs to get a clear look at any potentially infected skin. Attaching it to a tablet makes creates a digital dermoscopy system that illuminates, captures and analyzes any questionable areas.

Before integrating these tools into a diagnostic regimen, a physician should check how they’ve been approved for use. Some have been accepted and approved for use in Europe (by the CE) but not in the United States by the FDA. Certain accessories also work with an iPhone and iPod touch in addition to a tablet or iPad. Given all of these breakthroughs for tablets, Dr. Bones’ tricorder doesn’t seem quite so much like science fiction anymore. How much longer before that infamous piece of medical fantasy becomes a reality?

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