Acknowledgements: ISPO Australia,
staff and administrators at the Department of Physiotherapy, Royal Perth Hospital. Correspondence: Caroline Roffman, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, School of Physiotherapy & Exercise Science Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. Email: [email protected] “
“Technology is progressing at an unprecedented rate. Driven by a healthy consumer appetite for all things digital, technology is becoming smaller, more mobile, more powerful, and is increasingly being equipped with sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, cameras, high quality microphones, and amazingly vivid displays. Among the most popular of these technologies are smartphones and video game consoles. Parks Associates (2010) have estimated Alectinib purchase that, in 2014, smartphone users will have topped 1 billion worldwide. Sensor-based gaming consoles are also becoming more popular with 76 million Wii devices and over 600 million games Selleckchem AZD0530 sold to date (Nintendo
2010). With their exceptional processing power, versatility, and features, these devices are starting to be used for medical applications. Some of the most popular applications on the Apple iTunes store include AirStrip, which allows remote critical care and cardiology monitoring, and ResolutionMD, a medical image visualiser for the iPhone. The growing number of medical applications available raises important questions: does a smartphone running a medical application, or a Wii game used for rehabilitation purposes qualify as a medical device and, if so, does such a device require regulatory approval as would any conventional medical device? These questions become more complicated when an application not specifically Mephenoxalone designed as a medical application is used for therapeutic purposes. For example, the TiltMeter application for the iPhone presents as an ideal and extremely cost-effective inclinometer for a practising physiotherapist. However, if this application is used for diagnostic purposes, should its use be regulated as would a standard
medical inclinometer? These questions may have significant implications for physiotherapy researchers and clinicians for developing, using, or even recommending applications and technologies for clients. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the regulatory body that assesses and monitors medicines and medical devices in the commercial market to ensure that they are safe, effective, and of a high quality (TGA 2010). All therapeutic goods must be entered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before they can be supplied in Australia. The TGA states that a medical device is any instrument, appliance, material, apparatus, article, or even an accessory to these items that is used on a human, has a therapeutic benefit, or is used to measure or monitor functions of the body.