ICBioethics Blog 

Health Technology Update: Mobile Health Apps to keep your Eye on

Written by: Aimee Zellers

Mobile health apps can be great tools to help patients and physicians manage wellness and care, share information, and expand education. The market and competition surrounding mobile health apps and devices is ever increasing with apps that focus on adherence, education, remote monitoring, as well as apps for in-hospital use all with an eye on improving patient engagement and support, health outcomes, and reducing health costs. With improvements in mobile technology we can only expect an improvement in the quality of existing apps as well as the development of new apps. This week’s blog will focus on apps for healthcare professionals. Next week I’ll tackle mobile health apps for patients and the average health consumer.

Mobile Apps for Healthcare Professionals


This app, created by experts at Johns Hopkins Burn Center, is designed to educate medical students on proper assessment, care, and handling of burn victims. One of the education aspects of this app provides students with a 3-D model to assist them in assessing body surface area and severity of burn injuries. “By highlighting burned areas on a rotatable three-dimensional figure of a man, woman or child on an iPad or iPhone, the user can quickly calculate how much fluid to administer.” The app also provides guides for early assessment of severe injuries, as well as video, image, and text tutorials.

Check it out:


drawMD is an iPad app that aims to improve patient engagement and communication. It provides physicians with an interactive visual aid to explain complex medical issues, surgeries, and other procedures to patients. Some of the key features include: background anatomy images, a large and growing stamp library, an application that allows the user to draw freehand in multiple colors for clarity, edit the drawing, email and/or save any sketch, and import backgrounds or draw on a blank slates.

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Welch Allyn’s iExaminer app turns the PanOptic Ophthalmoscope into a mobile digital imaging device. It allows users to take high resolution images of the eye and make it easier to detect conditions like retinal detachment or glaucoma. The ophthalmoscope plugs into a smartphone (iphone4/iphone4S) and takes high resolution images of the fundus and retinal nerve. These pictures can then be stored, printed, or emailed to a patient file. Applications like this can easily expand the abilities of telemedicine.

Check it out:

Lab Counter

“Lab Counter is a tallying app, specifically designed for the scientists and medical laboratory workers.” Some of the key features include the ability to “keep track of different categories, scoring dead/live/sick phenotypes, benign/malignant morphology, or any custom categories; easily score multiple samples, efficiently analyzing many plates or slides; add up to 12 counters and zoom in/out to view as many as you need; effortlessly export your results by e-mail.”

Check it out:

Mobile MIM

Mobile MIM is a diagnostic imaging app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The aim is to enhance the ability to access and share images from radiation oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine, neuroimaging and so on. The FDA cleared the app in 2011, although a previous version had been released in 2008. “Imaging professionals now have a portable solution away from their workstations.” Key features include the ability to consult with peers on difficult cases; review x-rays and ultrasounds; reduce image distribution delays; enhance referring physician and patient interaction; never rely on ad hoc mobile viewing solutions again; and give hands-on image access to tumor board or class members.

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MobiUS SP1 System

This app offers eight different ultrasound imaging exams (including pelvis, kidney, and obstetrics) using an ultrasound probe and displaying video and images through a camera on the phone. This is a low-cost approach to imaging which can greatly benefit organizations on a tight budget. Nearly 70% of the global population does not have access to ultrasound imaging, and it is a powerful diagnostic tool. This cost effective device could greatly expand access to ultrasound technology. Mobisante describes their device as “the world’s first smartphone-based ultrasound imaging system, the MobiUS™ SP1 ultrasound system. This award winning system, cleared by the Food & Drug Administration, brings ultrasound imaging within reach of healthcare professionals everywhere, helping healthcare professionals practice better medicine and reduce costs. MobiUS fuses the power and wireless connectivity of a smartphone with the Internet into a game-changing diagnostic solution that is personal and accessible. Our patent pending intellectual property makes the system easy to use and to share information with remote providers.”

Check it out:

Mitch GennusoComment