Surgeons connect with iPhone 4's FaceTime videoconferencing app

Surprise, surprise! Doctors have already been finding ways to incorporate the new iPhone 4 and its videoconferencing features into their practice of medicine. Well, at least a few intrepid physicians have tried it.

From the Cult of Mac blog (naturally) we learn that Dr. David G. Armstrong, director of the University of Arizona's Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) recently pulled out his iPhone 4, fired up the FaceTime chat app and showed the results of a foot reconstruction surgery to Los Angeles surgeon Dr. Lee Rogers, who has been attending a conference in Orlando, Fla. Blogger Nicole Martinelli calls it perhaps the "first documented iPhone 4 medical video consultation."

As for Armstrong, he thinks his new phone is more than just a toy for big kids. "While the University of Arizona has had one of the world's top telehealth systems, the ability to communicate quickly with something that is an afterthought has the potential to alter how we work with our colleagues and patients," Armstrong is quoted as saying. "Just as with the iPod in music and the laptop in computing, it is not the change in technology, but the change in form factor and ubiquity that alters this landscape."

We'll see if the good vibe lasts, though. Writes Martinelli, "So, yeah, it's nice to think that the iPhone's FaceTime will be used for giving more than just good face, or other bits. Though in my experience the novelty of video calls--available outside the U.S. for years--wears off faster than you can pretend the connection fell because whatever you're doing, it's not quite ready for prime time..."

For more:
- see this post on the Cult of Mac blog