We’re currently still waiting to see when Apple will attempt to directly link its mobile devices to possible health care monitoring devices.  Although AirStip OB provides some sort of monitoring system, its still not an example of a completely mobile one.  This might be changing with Apple’s increasing interest in the fitness arena, especially in regards to it’s partnership with Nike.  According to Apple Insider, a iPod nano-compatible heart rate monitor is already on the way.

Mobihealthnews actually had this great find when looking at patents uncovered by Apple Insider.  These patents are for other vital sign monitoring, not just heart rate.  Pulse Ox and temp appear to be the other two vital sign monitoring they are investigating.  This type of monitoring system could definitely be useful in a mobile setting when providing long term care for chronic conditions.  A system that can check your pulse ox, HR, and temp, and then log the results to be viewed later in an easy to read format could be useful for patients suffering chronic conditions, such as COPD and certain arrhythmias.

At the end of the day though, I’m still holding out hope for the iPhone – blue tooth stethoscope connection.  Imagine patients being able to place a stethoscope in the correct orientation on their body, record the sound on their iPhone, and then upload it to their doc.  Now THAT is what I’d call mobile health care monitoring.