The patent application includes a process that an iPhone could automatically put into motion in the event that the device ends up getting wet. The handset would "self-heal" by detecting when water has entered the speaker. Once the phone "realizes" that it is in a noisy area (by monitoring the environment), it would play a loud tone that would clear the water out of the speaker. All of this would be done without the phone's owner pressing a single button.
Another self-healing process involves fixing dead pixels on the screen. Since this would require a long diagnostic test, this would happen at night while the owner of the phone is sleeping. Problems with the camera and cellular connectivity could be fixed in the same manner, without having to bring the iPhone in to the Apple Store for repairs.
Anything that allows the phone to self-heal is a huge time and possibly money-saver for an iPhone owner. But be forewarned. Despite Apple filing the patent application, there is no guarantee that any of these self-healing features will ever see the light of day.
source: USPTO via RedmondPie