It may be mind-boggling to many outside of ophthalmology that there is an entire medical field dedicated to an organ as small as the eye, but the fact is, there is also an entire sub-specialty dedicated to the cornea and external disease.
Given the large number of possible conditions affecting the eye, attaining proficiency in this field often requires up to 5 years of residency and a full year or two of fellowship training. Though the cornea spans mere millimetres, entire textbooks are dedicated to it, and entire atlases with images of corneal pathology exist.
Cornea Atlas, with its beautiful collection of cornea and external disease pathology attempts to bring such an atlas to the iPhone. The app covers 108 diseases and conditions classified in 16 categories.
The app is very simply organized, with just 3 sections, the meat of which is in the “content” section. Opening this section reveals an index of the different conditions contained within the app.
Clicking on the different pathologies reveals one or more related images. Images range from simple photographs of the surface of the cornea to microscopic sections of the cornea.
The images can be expanded for full screen viewing, saved to one’s photo gallery, or shared with colleagues via email, or simple copying and pasting.
As seen below, one can easily copy the set of images associated with a particular pathology and send it via MMS or iMessage.
The utility of this app could be increased if a short description of each pathology was displayed with each picture, rather than providing solely a collection of images. Adding links to more robust descriptions of the diseases would greatly enhance the educational value of this app, especially for those with little background in ophthalmology.
Overall, Cornea Atlas is a nice labour of love from the Ophthalmology Department of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo. It is being offered free of charge as an educational and teaching resource for future generations of ophthalmologists.
At this price and considering how few legitimate ophthalmology apps are currently available, I would not hesitate to recommend this for anyone interested in ophthalmology.
Even general practitioners or general pediatricians would fine such an app useful as they are often at the front lines of spotting eye pathology.
- Beautiful collection of photographs
- Educational value could be improved with short descriptions or links
- Cornea Atlas brings a beautiful collection of images to an App Store otherwise anemic in the area of ophthalmology apps.