BY Tricia Rodewald
Recognizing that there’s a growing number of medical professionals using iPad tablets to effectively gather patient information, improve clinical decision-making and educate patients, AAOS dedicated one of their Electronic Skills Pavilion sessions to “Clinical iPad Apps for Orthopaedic Surgeons.”
The session’s presenter, Orrin Franko, MD is a PGY-3 orthopaedic surgical resident at the University of California—San Diego. He’s also the founder of TopOrthoApps
, a Web site dedicated to helping busy surgeons identify apps that are most useful in the clinical, academic, and educational environments.
Dr. Franko has also published scientific manuscripts on the topic of smartphone app use among orthopaedic surgeons, and he is the Lead App Editor for the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine.
While the world of tablet applications is growing rapidly, there were a few notable apps that Dr. Franko shared with his ortho-focused audience. Among these were:
In his live demonstration, the first app that Dr. Franko illustrated on his iPad was the CARE app
. The CARE app gives surgeons the ability to create a fully customizable website and personalize their app to their patients needs.
When a patient is enrolled in the site, they will only see information and post-operative protocols that have been specifically selected by their surgeon, such as complete video demonstrations of the exercises they should be performing week-by-week after surgery.
Sigma Knee Replacement App
Another interesting iPad application that Dr. Franko shared was DePuy Orthopaedics’ Sigma Knee Replacement app
. This app is a combination of both patient and surgeon education.
The app presents surgeons with a number of informational modules about design rationale or featured instruments and unique advantages of the product.Patients have the ability to interact with an animated, 3D knee model that they can flex, extend and see how it responds once the device is implanted.
DrawMD Orthopedics App
An app that is not sponsored by a medical device company, but is still used to educate patients about their disease, is DrawMD Orthopedics
The DrawMD Orthopedics app is essentially a “sketch pad” for explaining anatomy, showing patients their disease and demonstrating surgical techniques. The advantage for orthopedic surgeons is that the app comes pre-loaded with orthopaedic body parts and orthopaedic “stamps." The “stamps” might be an image of a fracture or a screw that you can place on the anatomical image (i.e. the knee, the pelvis, etc.) to demonstrate to the patient where their ailment is and what will be done to fix it. The user can mark the image with a pen and make text comments as well. Once complete, the image can be saved or emailed to a patient with your office information.
New apps are being created every day to benefit patients and surgeons alike. To learn more about some of the apps Dr. Franko demonstrated during his presentation, visit http://toporthoapps.com
If you use apps, what are others that you recommend to enhance an orthopedic medical practice and patient care?
Do you think tablets and mobile applications will revolutionize health care? If yes, why? Are there examples you can give?
Tricia Rodewald is director of marketing at Pro-Dex Inc.(Irvine, CA).