This may not be all that surprising to you tech-savvy geeks that hang out in this forum, but it really surprised me.
We recently took my newly adopted Golden Retriever, Ike, to his first examination by our family veterinarian...who promptly revealed a much lower-than-normal pulse in the dog.
The vet took an office iPhone and proceeded to do a single-line EKG on the dog to get a good preliminary read on what was going on! It turns out besides a specialty app, the phone is fitted with a $200 cover with special electrodes built into the cover that provide a very good, elementary, heart rate for vets to use as a diagnostic tool. Based on that reading, the vet decided to follow-up with a more advanced EKG to rule out various issues that might be going on with the dog's heart.
Apparently, the device is really good for finding problems in cats who don't display many symptoms when suffering from heart issues.
Our vet says there is also the capacity to use similar software to take human heart rates.
My wife blogged about the experience and uses images of the phone and its sensors and the display to give an idea of what went down.
If interested, take a look HERE.