Patient education is a crucial part of any medical or surgical intervention with numerous studies showing that improving patient knowledge helps improve compliance and leads to a better outcome.

Readers of iMedicalApps will have noticed the recent growth of patient education apps from a number of developers. Orthopaedic surgery patient education apps are on the increase and the imaginatively titled ‘Orthopaedic patient education’ is the first time we have seen a major anatomy developer enter this area.

Well known anatomy developers 3D4Medical have recently released a comprehensive patient education app designed purely for the iPad. This app

In total there are 117 videos which come bundled with the app. These can be split into Anatomy, Conditions and Treatments. The majority of common orthopaedic conditions are covered as well as a number of rheumatological conditions. There is a search function which can either be used to search each of the categories above or all of them combined.

To quote from 3D4Medical:

“This app draws upon some of the animations from 3D4Medical’s Body Region Pro series of apps as well as some additional animations unavailable anywhere else. All of these animations have been brought together to make for a more comprehensive repository for orthopedic conditions and treatments.”

The main content of the app– the videos–are of a fantastic quality. Each video is short (about 1-2 mins) and clearly highlights the problem through clever uses of faded anatomical structures and highlighting colors. Each video is high resolution and the content is superb. The level of detail is high and the treatment operations are clear for the patient to fully understand.

The team at 3D4Medical are working on adding over a 100 new videos covering bone fractures and their treatment. There are also future plans to include information related to strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries.

There is no audio with each video which I think is a let down. I think a future update including audio would be particularly useful. Users would then have the option of whether to use it or not. There is a handy ability to pause the video and annotate the image which can then be emailed directly to the patient.

One feature which could be improved is the user interface of the app. When the user opens the app they are presented with a 3D human model. It would have been a decent improvement if the user could tap on a  body area and be taken to that area whereby the user could then select a range of videos. Currently users have to browse through the list until they find the video they want.

One factor to consider is the size of this app, which is not insignificant at 1.34 GB. Some users who are short on space may find that they don’t have the space to store this app.

Price:

  • $49.99

Likes:

  • High resolution detailed videos
  • Good range of treatments, anatomy and conditions covered
  • Ability to email screenshots from the video

Dislikes:

  • Improved user interface to access videos in a specific anatomical area

Conclusion:

  • Orthopaedic patient education  is a content filled app which orthopaedic surgeons may find useful in a clinical scenario. There are potential user interface improvements however this is minor as the app is generally well designed and useful.

iTunes Link