One of the fundamental skills taught to doctors is the ability to read and analyze a basic PA chest x-ray (CXR). The CXR is a vital tool for diagnosis as the range of pathologies that can be seen is wide. Thus it is crucial that these are not missed. iCXR, developed by Radprogs, is a detailed chest radiograph pocket reference and manual for the iPhone.
The handbook is the core part of this app. There are 14 chapters detailing the basics of CXR interpretation covering a wide range of topics starting with an introduction on assessment of chest x-rays. There are also detailed sections on the different anatomical regions such as: the chest wall and pleura, the mediastinum, the lungs and miscellaneous topics.
Each significant point within the explanation is illustrated with an annotated image. I found this incredibly useful to be shown exactly what was wrong complete with an explanation of why that particular pathology appeared that way. The section on how to read a CXR was very informative and built on skills taught in med school.
iCXR contains over 200 detailed images illustrating normal and abnormal pathology with a simulated PACS station. The images can be easily manipulated using touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and the ability to change contrast/brightness allows pathology to be easily identified.
Each pathology is well highlighted with markers which can be switched on or off. In addition, the image can be expanded to full screen to make interpretation easier.
The other major part of this app is a reference section in handbook format. Users are presented with a list of 70 conditions which are likely to be seen on a CXR. Selecting one presents a number of images of that pathology along with a summary describing the location, cause and treatment.
These images can be manipulated in a similar fashion to the images in the handbook. The flash cards are really useful for consolidating knowledge or quickly looking up a condition whilst out on the wards.
One update I’d like to see is an iPad version. The extra screen size would certainly improve the image viewing experience and would cement iCXR’s place as an essential medical app.
- Currently at an introductory price of $1.99
- Multiple images for each condition
- Ability to manipulate the images using touch gestures and brightness/contrast
Dislikes/future updates I’d like to see:
- No iPad version
- This is a fantastic application for covering the basics of chest x-ray interpretation.
- The images are excellent and the detail in the explanation is first class.
- This application is highly recommended for any healthcare professional/medical student interested in developing their CXR interpretation skills.