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iPhone’s all over hearts these days. First, we had the iPhone Heart Monitor app for exercise buffs (sweating optional). Then the news that Apple applied for a patent on technology that could, someday, biometrically link phones to individual heartbeats. And last week, British researcher Peter J. Bentley unveiled a free version of iStethoscope, an app that threatens to turn us all into amateur cardiologists with its fascinating array of robot-like blips and swooshes being emanated by our own tickers.

Or as the London Times put it, “A wonderful instrument called the stethoscope … is now in complete vogue…” In 1824.

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