Cool technology of the week: Frog skin

September 30, 2011 by MassDevice

By John D. Halamka, MD

Dr. John Halamka

Clinicians have been adopting iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches so fast that they have become the most popular mobile devices at Beth Israel Deaconess.   One problem - how do you use these devices in the wet and messy world of medicine?

The answer - a waterproof "case" called a Frog Skin.

FrogSkin

How does it work?  Here's a goofy You Tube video that demonstrates the product.

Frog Skins are available for all the iDevices (iPhone 3GS/4, iPad/2).   They are not actually a case, but rather a film-like covering that is clear and wraps around. the device.  We tested it by making a phone call in a glass of water.   They are completely waterproof, but probably not under pressure. 

But can you sterilize an iPhone/iPad for use in the Operating Room?

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Here's Dr. Henry Feldman's description:

Last night we ran the big experiment, and placed a Frog Skin encased iPhone 3G in an ethylene oxide sterilizer (for surgical instruments that can't go in an autoclave).  We sterilized the iPhone. The cycle was  6 hours of gas time, and 12 for outgas.  I  turned the phone off, so no activity would occur causing heat or a spark, since ethylene oxide is flammable. I placed a gas detection strip inside the Frog Skin and one inside the sterile pack. The pack was placed in the sterilizer with all the other surgical instruments.

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