iMedicalApps announces semifinalists for Medicine 2.0 Research Award [Part 3]

Continuing our exploration into the research due to be presented at Medicine 2.0, we now present the next three semi-finalists for the iMedicalApps mHealth Research Award.

You can read about the other contenders for the award here.


Preventing ankle sprains with a smartphone; Implementation effectiveness of an evidence based app

Summary of Abstract:

This abstract discusses the development and implementation of an evidence based mobile app designed to prevent ankle sprain recurrences among athletes. The app implemented an 8 week training program for the prevention of ankle sprain recurrences and contained a neuromuscular training program described and evaluated for preventive effectiveness in a previous randomized controlled trial. It also contained a full translation of these materials into an interactive package containing videos of individual exercises and an interactive training schedule providing feedback through push messaging.

The app only reached 7% of the intended target population, i.e. athletes who suffered an ankle sprain. Users rated the app with a score of 8.1 out of 10. In written reviews, users appreciated the clarity and ease of use of the app. Of all users 38% did not actively use the app, whereas 33% used the app frequently (i.e. multiple times per week). Although the app generated a large interest in the athletic community, actual reach and implementation of the program within the target population was low. However, user feedback, was very positive.


This abstract shows the complete development and implementation and evaluation of a specific app in practice. Although the specific app is limited in its utility, the research process and lessons learned from its development are of valuable use to other researchers aiming to develop other evidence based apps.

Shoebox audiometry: evaluation of a novel, interactive iPad-based hearing test for children

Summary of Abstract:

This abstract presents the development and evaluation of an iPad app which uses gamification to test warble-tone thresholds in young children. The proliferation of tablet computing enables the development of novel diagnostic applications which capitalize on the intuitive user-interface and address the shortcomings of existing diagnostic tools. In this case, a novel, interactive game was designed specifically to address the difficulties in performing audiometric testing in children at a fraction of the cost of traditional audiometric devices.

The app was evaluated in a prospective randomized study which demonstrated no statistically significant difference between warble-tone thresholds obtained by tablet and traditional audiometry (p=0.29). The hearing of 85 consecutive patients presenting to the Audiology Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (ages 3 and older) was evaluated both in clinical and screening scenarios using the tablet audiometer.


One of the most exciting aspects of mobile technology is its ability to utilize engaging apps for novel diagnostic challenges at a substantial cost benefit. This audiometry app highlights the fact that mobile devices can be a valid and sensitive instrument for screening and assessment of warble-tone thresholds in children.

Touch Surgery – Decision making for surgical training

Summary of Abstract:

This abstract presents an account of a novel cognitive task analysis application designed to improve intra-operative decision making and procedural knowledge to improve surgical training and education. The module laparoscopic cholecystectomy was developed using a validated cognitive task analysis (CTA) methodology with 3 local expert surgeons. Interviews were transcribed into individual cognitive task demands tables (CDT). These were analyzed, and a consensus meeting was organized between experts to develop a master CDT. This was then combined with video technology and a 3D- interactive simulation was developed for touch screen devices. 10 experts rated the realism of Touch Surgery as high and the value of this framework for training as highly educational.


Touch Surgery represents the first cognitive task simulator for surgical and procedural training. Utilizing CTA to deconstruct a procedure and identify the key components of a procedure allows surgeons to potentially use mobile devices for surgical education. The impact of mobile devices on procedure simulation has not been fully explored in the literature and this marks a new means to develop rigorous educational tools on mobile devices.