Patient Centric App Review

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. Does the app give unbiased information about treatment options?


Millions of Americans have back surgery on a yearly basis. Some are educated about their pathology and treatment options but many do not understand.

Physicians have a few minutes to examine, diagnose, and educate a patient about their condition but that is certainly not enough.

The developers of SpineDecide hope this app will augment the patient’s understanding of their pathology and treatment options after they leave the clinic. This app is among a family of orthopedic patient education apps produced by ORCA MD.

User Interface:

SpineDecide has a very patient-friendly user interface with clean transitions, a lot of easy to use interactive features and clear explanations of pathology.

The app focuses around an interactive 3D spine diagram that the user can rotate, bend, and look at cross sections of.

Users can explore the normal physiologic function and look at normal anatomy of the spine. Users can drive down on the labeled structures for a closer look at the anatomical structure.



Patients can then learn about common pathologies of the spine and what they look like on XRay, MRI and on a cartoon diagram. The red spots point out pathology and the text below explains in layman’s terms what is wrong.

Lastly, there is information provided about various physicians and health professionals that can help manage the spinal pathology. This section needs to be expanded but it includes: orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, and physiatrists (PM&R physicians).

A nice addition to this section would be what pathologies can be managed by which health professionals. This is because in some of these back pathologies, physical therapy and chiropractic care are contraindicated.


  • $4.99


  • User-friendly interface
  • Clear explanations of anatomy and pathology of the spine
  • Interactive spine diagram that allows user to rotate, bend, and explore the anatomy of the spine
  • Images (MRI, XRay) of spine clearly show deformity and label where the pathology is on the images


  • Would have liked to see simple explanations of treatment options
  • A navigation tool bar with an option to go “back” would be helpful, it’s easy to get lost in the app
  • The explanations of the physicians dealing with spine pathology should be more detailed

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 needing spinal surgery
  • Patients with spinal pathology
  • Family members of patients with spinal pathology


  • SpineDecide provides an efficient way for patients to explore the spine’s anatomy and common pathology
  • SpineDecide will be an excellent adjunct for any physician trying to educate their patient about spine pathology
  • Imaging (Xrays, CTs, and MRIs) are clearly labeled and explanations are in layman’s terms
  • The app would benefit from a navigation bar integrated in the app so users can back and forward easily

iMedicalApps recommended? 

  • Yes



Overall: 4.5/5 Stars

  • User Interface:  5/5. Clean, intuitive, easy to navigate.
  • Multimedia Coverage: 5/5. The interactive 3D spine is fantastic and will be very helpful for inquisitive patients.
  • Price: 3/5 . Pricey for a patient but has great potential in the clinic setting – having patients flip through the app on the clinic’s iPad or iPod Touch while in the waiting room.
  • Real World Applicability: 5/5 . If  a practice has the right tools, they can use this app to educate a large portion of their patient population.


This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.