There are many mobile apps available for Androids and iOS devices that support surgeons, surgical technicians, and assistants in preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care.
The roles of these apps are to prepare patients and perform the preoperative evaluation (clearance), assist surgeons and other personnel during the surgery, help them conduct a safe surgery and keep a log of patients and procedures, provide anesthesia guidelines, communicate with their peers, train using surgery simulators, and so on.
Here, we list some of the mobile medical apps that surgeons, their assistants, technicians, as well as trainees and students should consider.
Clearing patients for surgery, i.e. deciding whether or not a patient is "safe" to proceed to the operating room is common practice in primary care, internal medicine, and anesthesiology.
Although many evidence-based guidelines exist with a goal to assist providers in making this complex decision, they rarely include information on the patient's mortality risk from the surgery itself.
Surgical Outcome Risk Tool (SORT) app for Android and iPhone predicts the 30-day mortality from surgery, based on a number of variables including the type of surgery, surgery severity, physical status of the patient, age of the patient, and so on.
The app serves as a useful guidance tool for informing the surgical teams, except obstetrics, neurosurgery, cardiac, and transplant surgery, as well as patients and their families.
Another similar app to Surgical Outcome Risk Tool that also deals with the problem of pre-operative evaluation is PreOpGuide app. It is a free mobile app designed to help ensure that patients are properly prepared for surgery.
Besides this, it also tries to reduce or eliminate unnecessary pre-operative testing, minimize surgical delays and cancellations, and reduce costs for both patients and hospitals, by providing a pre-operative anesthesia guide for medical providers who order or administer pre-operative testing.
While the app creators claim this guide is evidence-based, there's no clear statement about it anywhere in the app. Also, the app doesn't provide any links to resources used.
AO Surgery Reference app is an evidence-based resource that describes the complete surgical management process from diagnosis to aftercare for different types of fractures, depending on the anatomical region.
It's basically AO website ported to iPhone and Android devices, featuring same options and sections, including Overview, Diagnosis, Decision, Preparation, Approach, Reduction & Fixation, and Aftercare.
Each of the sections provides comprehensive, textual and visual evidence-based guidelines for different fracture patterns, various management methods, as well as follow-up strategies during rehabilitation, which all make AO Surgery Reference an essential app, particularly for orthopedic surgeons.
Gas Guide is a simple, free app for iPhone, designed by Dr. James Lamberg, to provide medical students and residents with a quick and easy access to anesthesia information, surgery safety checklists, and other guidelines and recommendations, which can come handy in both operating rooms and during anesthesiology rotations.
Besides for junior doctors in anesthesiology rotations, Gas Guide app can be useful to other specialties as well.
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WHO Surgery Safety Checklist App
There are several mobile apps developed based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist and Implementation Manual with a goal to increase the safety of patients undergoing surgery.
The checklist basically identifies three distinct phases of an operation, including a period before the induction of anesthesia, before the incision of the skin, and before the patient leaves the operating facility.
Each phase requires a confirmation that the surgical team has completed the listed tasks before it proceeds with the procedure.
Thanks to the availability of mobile devices and apps with simple, intuitive interface, tracking the checklist through the stages of a surgical procedure is made a lot easier.
Training is an important part of understanding the surgical procedure, which is easier if trainees are able to visualize the surgery process. This necessity lead to the development of surgical simulation tools that could be used on smart devices, making the learning process more convenient and easier.
Touch Surgery app by Kinosis is one of the best tools available. The app is an interactive mobile surgical simulator that guides medical students step-by-step through every part of a surgery in incredible 3D detail with the help of modules from Duke University, Stanford University, and the Imperial College London. Touch Surgery app also allows students to track their results and learning progress.
Airway EX Virtual Surgery Simulator App
Airway EX app is similar to Touch Surgery. It is virtual surgery simulator that enables doctors to practice surgery in a realistic 3D virtual environment. All surgical scenarios in the app are recreated from real patient surgeries.
During the virtual surgery, surgeons may experience the range of motion of medical devices, changes in tissue behavior, realistic fluids and secretions, dynamic vital signs, and more.
The app assign scores based on users' skill, speed, damage, bleeding, navigation, recall, and more. It also allows surgeons practice rare and difficult cases in a realistic environment.
National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) runs a certified surgical technologist (CST) program, which requires surgical technologists you to renew their CST certification every four years.
They also developed the official CST Examination Prep app for Android and iOS devices to help future surgical technicians and technologists study on-the-go.
The free version of the app offers 10 practice questions and rationales, while the additional questions (335 in total) can be unlocked by purchasing Premium version for $34.99, which also includes detailed answer explanations and references to source materials, exam creation customization and email support.
Surgeon's Logbook App
One of the most important tasks that surgeons should do after the surgical procedure is to keep a log of patients for whom they complete procedure. Documenting each case and procedure may help surgeons later with practice audits necessary for successful re-credentialing.
Logging patients is also an essential process to surgical trainees helping them satisfy surgical training requirements.
Surgeon's Logbook is a free app for Android and iPhone designed to help surgeons and trainees more compliant with their data entry.
Thanks to its easy-to-use and highly intuitive interface, the app allow users to create records by entering details about their operative, bedside, and academic activities, upload operative photos and captions, update and backup all data securely to the cloud, export records, or share them with their colleagues or supervisors.