Purpose of App Review

To explore the utility of BurnCase 3D Mobile Edition in supporting the assessment and treatment of burns

Introduction

Burns can be very tricky injuries to document accurately because they take on various shapes and depths around the different body types, making 2D documentation on paper and clinical burn surface estimation difficult tasks.

BurnCase 3D Mobile Edition offers a tool that may simplify this by using 3D models of the human body to objectively calculate key values.

 

User Interface

BurnCase 3D Mobile Edition is a universal iOS (iPhone and iPad optimized) app designed to visually document the size and degree of burns on a 3D human body. The user is initially prompted to enter patient parameters including height, weight, and presence of inhalation injury. Various 3D anatomical models differentiated by age, gender and body habitus are suggested by the app, but the user can choose the 3D model closest to the patient.

Users then select a body surface area formula from a wide selection including Mosteller, Lam & Leung etc.

After selecting a 3D model, the user can draw in the patient’s burns.  Burns are color-coded to differentiate between 1st, superficial 2nd, deep 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree injuries. The drawing method involves selecting a burn degree, and simply double tapping and drawing around the affected area.

An option exists to draw in both the front and back side of a body part at once, allowing users to easily draw burns that only affect one side, as well as circumferential burns.

The models can be manipulated in 3D space in order to achieve better viewing angles and zoom levels.

The app can also automatically calculate the percent of body surface area affected by each degree of burn based on the chosen formula. A number of key values and scores including the volume of fluid resuscitation by the Parkland formula and daily caloric requirements are conveniently calculated and displayed with the touch of a button.

A brief user manual is also provided to help users quickly learn to use the app.

While BurnCase 3D Mobile Edition doesn’t quite have the feature set of its PC cousin, it is still an innovative app that has the potential to support the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of burns. I did find that the app crashed quite often and consistently, especially when I was trying to exit the 3D model view and go back to the patient list.

This happened on both my iPad 2 running iOS 6.0 and iPhone 3GS running iOS 5.1.1. Whatever the cause of this bug, I hope that the developers will be able to fix it in the near future, because it significantly detracts from the experience. Also be aware that despite the app description in the App Store, the developers include a disclaimer warning that the app is not suitable for clinical assessment or as a decision support system, emphasizing that the system is research-based and therefore not certified for medical use. If you plan to use it clinically, please do so responsibly.

Price

  • $11.99

Likes

  • Innovative way of burns wounds on a 3D human model
  • Automatic calculation of important data such as percentage of body surface area affected, fluid resuscitation, and caloric requirements

Dislikes

  • Consistent and reproducible crashing
  • Not currently certified for clinical use

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Plastic surgeons/residents, emergency medicine physicians/residents, critical care physicians/residents, anesthesiology physicians/residents, medical students, burn unit nurses and staff

Conclusion

BurnCase 3D Mobile Edition offers an innovative way to document and support the assessment of burns using a 3D human model. Frequent crashing hampers the user experience.

iTunes Link

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 3.5 stars
User Interface: 3
Multimedia usage: 5
Price: 2
Real world applicability: 4