Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has proved to be an invaluable tool for physicians and other health professionals. From imaging analysis to drug calculations, the portability and functionality of the iPhone make it the ideal device for accessing clinically useful information at the bedside.
Musculoskeletal injuries and abnormalities are amongst the most frequent presenting complaints to hospitals and doctors offices around the world, but diagnosis is rarely straight forward. Aiding in the clinical examination of the musculoskeletal system is a new iPhone app developed by Clinically Relevant Technologies, CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam. Owing to the importance of correct evidence-based practice in the clinical setting, CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam provides a comprehensive compilation of peer-referenced tests to aid in the diagnosis of orthopedic pathologies.
CORE features almost 250 tests, each with an accompanying video demonstration of the test and PubMed reference (abstract only). The tests can be accessed offline, but the video (YouTube) and reference do require an internet connection to view. Tests can be listed in alphabetical order, by body region or you can simply tap the relevant area of interest on a human skeleton on the first screen. Tapping on the shoulder, for example, brings up a list of relevant pathologies – biceps tendon, impingement, instability, labrum, muscle/tendinopathy etc. Under each one of these categories, you’ll find a number of tests that can be used in the differential diagnosis of the condition at hand.
Each test is named – e.g ”Supraspinatus Test” – and the intended purpose of the test is stated as well as clear and concise instructions for carrying out the test. From the same page, you can access the video demo as well as view the statistical properies of the test (specificity, accuracy etc). The videos themselves are of a professional quality, but would benefit from some commentary and spoken instructions. Also – some additional offline content in future updates, such as a photo-guide to the tests would be a great inclusion for those practicing in areas without the benefit of 3G or wireless internet.
While it is an expensive application, an equivalent text would cost several-fold more and cannot offer the same portability and ease of use. From a clinicians perspective, CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam is an invaluable pocket reference in the examination of musculoskeletal pathology.
CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch