Apple’s FaceTime has been getting innovations designed to help Deaf and Stroke patients. FaceTime is a software application supported by any iOS device such as iPhone and iPad and Macintosh, and features video-calling thru a forward-facing camera.
Users who are deaf, have hearing loss or uses hearing aids due to hearing problems will find the app helpful in communicating with family and friends thru its sign language, lip reading, iMessage and TTY services. This is made possible for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 because of their high quality video, fast frame rate and the WiFi or 3G connection capabilities.
The Lipreading service shows the mouth and face of the speaker for the deaf to comprehend the sender’s message while the sign language obviously shows the sender’s hands in motion. iMessage, which is available to iOS 5 users, features unlimited text messages with videos and photos and subtitling or captioning for iPhone users. The TTY service allows communication with TTY machines using an optional TTY adapter. For stroke patient-users, the iPhone 4 assists in diagnosing stroke from a distance thru a remote evaluation mode using FaceTime video to determine if the stroke patient needs a clot-busting drug or rt-PA.
The list goes on and would probably be extended to the new iteration of Apple’s devices – iPad 3 and iPhone 5. Reportedly, the company recently filed for 7 Patents at the USPTO to support Facetime videoconferencing innovations including superimposing a video onto another video, Facetime conference with split screen, focus/exposure adjustment operations, etc.
FaceTime is certainly the cost-effective alternative to the current practice of using telemedicine solutions that utilizes web-based computer cameras and other specialized tools. See more patent details here.