Compatibility:

iPhone (3GS and later), iPad, iPod Touch (3rd generation and later)

Requires:

iOS 4.2 or later

Purpose of the App Review:

  1. Will my patients get educational value from the app?
  2. Does the app appropriately explain spinal pathology pertinent to my patients?
  3. What are the differences between this app and the SpineDecide app?

Introduction:

Back problems grow more and more common as we grow older.

Old age plus common comorbidities our patients so often have (obesity, hypertension, diabetes) all contribute to our spine aging. The developers of Aging Spine hope to help our patients understand what kinds of changes are happening to their spine as they grow older.

This app is among a family of orthopedic patient education apps produced by ORCA MD and is very similar to SpineDecide, an app that has been reviewed earlier by iMedicalApps.

User Interface:

The user interface for AgingSpine is very easy to use and navigate. It has obviously been designed for patients – using very simple language and clear explanations. The app opens with a diagram of the spine.

To help patients understand, the interactive spine diagram can be color coded by spinal section, the spine diagram can be rotated, moved and manipulated. The diagrams also has labels to help orient the user.

 


When the labels from the spine diagram are clicked, they will advance to a page with a diagram of the anatomic structure.


Users can choose a specific age-related spine changes to learn about. The explanations are in simple terms and are very easy to understand.


Imaging (XRay, CT, MRI) of spinal pathology is also included with the primary spinal pathology highlighted so the user can pick out abnormalities quickly. Unfortunately, some of the organization is off – when I clicked on osteoarthritis, it advances to an MRI of degenerated discs. Osteoarthritis of the spine can lead to disc degeneration but most users/patients probably won’t know that – it might lead to a little bit of confusion.

This app shares a considerable (>50%) amount of content with SpineDecide, an app that also includes an interactive spine diagram that explains common back pathologies. There is no need for anyone to have both as the diagrams and many explanations are the same.

Additionally, SpineDecide costs $4.99 while Aging Spine costs $2.99. To see the review of SpineDecide, click here.

Price:

  • $2.99 (iPhone)
  • $4.99 (iPad)

Likes:

  • User-friendly interface with natural transitions
  • Clear, easy to understand explanations of common age related spinal changes
  • Interactive spine diagram that allows user to rotate, bend, and explore the anatomy of the spine
  • Labels and color coding on spine diagram help orient user and better understand anatomy

Dislikes:

  • The app shares all diagrams and many explanations with SpineDecide, but is less robust and covers less pathologies
  • Addition of treatment options for each pathology would be nice
  • Organization should be such that when user clicks on a pathology, the app advances to the explanation of the pathology before it jumps to complications from a disease process

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Physiatrists (Physical Medicine and Rehab)
  • Interventional Pain Management Physicians
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • Chiropractors
  • Physical Therapists/ Occupational Therapists

Patients that would benefit from the app:

  • Patients with spinal pathology
  • Patients concerned about age related spine degeneration
  • Family members of patients with spinal pathology

Conclusion:

  • AgingSpine provides quality education about age related spinal degeneration with clear, easy to understand explanations, excellent diagrams and fun interactive features
  • AgingSpine will be an excellent adjunct for any physician trying to educate their patient about spine pathology
  • The app shares a lot of content (almost all of the diagrams and interactive features) with SpineDecide but explains less pathologies
  • I suggest patients who are worried about degenerative spine changes (but do not need medical intervention yet) get this app, which costs $2.99
  • For patients who already have developed a spinal pathology (who need medical intervention), SpineDecide would be a better choice, which costs $4.99
 

SpineDecide App Review Link
iTunes Link

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Rating:

Overall: 4.25/5 Stars
User Interface:  4/5 Stars. Easy to navigate. A few organization issues that may confuse users about certain pathologies.
Multimedia Coverage: 5/5 Stars.  Interactive spine model, images with labels and diagrams with excellent explanations.
Price: 3/5 Stars. Cheaper than SpineDecide (costs $4.99) but this app explains less pathologies. There is no reason to own both.
Real World Applicability: 5/5 Stars. Can be used on a daily basis to educate patients.