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The most innovative Medical Apps of 2012


What is it?

vCath is an app developed by Bangor University in the UK. It is designed to teach neurosurgical trainees the art of cannulating the lateral ventricles of the brain. The objective of the app is to guide a neurosurgical trainee through the steps of positioning and inserting a catheter into the brain of a 3D virtual patient.

What was Innovative?

The app uses gestures and movements to teach neurosurgical trainees the art of catheterisation of the ventricular system. The key innovative feature is procedures that can be carried out on virtual 3D patients with no risk of harm. Trainees could use apps such as vCath for all kinds of procedures and they could potentially be marketed as individual learning modules.

Why is it important?

vCath demonstrates the possibility of apps as training tools for clinicians with no risk to patients. Training via these apps may help build up the skills needed to actually perform procedures in the future. Creation of apps expanding to other modules would be key and should be pursued by medical institutions as a model of care.

Other 3D Virtual Simulation Apps worth checking out: iLarynx (practice intubating with fiberoptic laryngoscopy with your iPad), Upper Respiratory Virtual Lab


iMedicalApps Review: vCath
iTunes: vCath (Free)


iMedicalApps Team

Click to view 13 Comments

  • QxMD Medical Apps | Daniel Schwartz

    Thanks for recognizing Read by QxMD as one of the most innovative medical apps of 2012. At QxMD, we’re focused on enhancing knowledge translation and the adoption of evidence-based practice. We hope that ‘Read’ will help medical practitioners achieve this goal.

  • Mark

    Thanks for thinking of my doctor mole app… Means a lot.

  • Nate

    Yay for not a single Android app

    • Iltifat Husain, MD

      Yep, unfortunate that most of these apps aren’t available for android. We tried to do a search through android but the medical section of android is definitely lacking in regards to innovative apps. Unfortunately almost all developers first go to iOS before going to android in the medical category — a good number ignore android altogether.

      • Nate

        Completely understandable. It is pretty frustrating to see what Android-users are missing out on, but I can tell that the tides seem to be changing; the number of decent medical apps currently in the Play store versus a year ago is fairly significant. When I first started looking into apps, I only had maybe 3-5 downloaded. Now, I have 20 or so. I’m hopeful this trend will continue.

        • Timothy Aungst, PharmD

          I think with the rise of the number of apps available on Android devices, developers will eventually start targeting Android with more interest. I would not be surprised if next years review sees a significant difference in the apps presented.

  • HIMAC | Edu

    Great article iMedicalApps Team, although i think you dont mention to any app developed beyond US.


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  • Derek (

    Thanks iMedicalApps! For you Android users out there, Docphin has an Android app as well!