iStethoscope for iPhone: Clever App. Mysterious Disappearance of Free Version. FDA Might Declare it a Regulated Health Device

Video courtesy of writingpeter

I rushed over to the iTunes App Store right after reading this item in the Telegraph.

iPhone app to replace the stethoscope

iStethoscope was, at the time, available as a free app with advertisement and a “Pro” app for 99 cents without. The app uses the iPhone’s microphone and some clever audio spectrum filtering to let you hear heartbeats.


Something odd happened about an hour after I downloaded the free version. It disappeared leaving only the 99 cent “Pro” version. The developer’s blog (Peter Bentley) provide a somewhat odd explanation.

PLEASE NOTE: Today there is unprecedented media coverage on many radio channels, TV shows, newspapers and magazines. Because of the massive demand iStethoscope Free may be temporarily unavailable from the App Store. If this happens and you wish to try the app please check out iStethoscope Pro. Thanks for your patience!

I’ve never heard of such a thing in the past. But, the “Pro” version is a mere 99 cents. So, the barrier to try this clever app is not high.

An added wrinkle was reported by James Kendrick on jkOnTheRun.

FDA has App Stores Under Surveillance

He reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering treating smartphone apps that provide health device such features as actual health devices requiring FDA approval.