Though it is often a last ditch effort, cricothyroidotomy is an important procedure, both in the hospital and on the battlefield. Many combat injuries can compromise the airway, necessitating a surgical airway.

Medrills: Army Cricothyroidotomy is a universal iOS app that aims to teach the procedure through detailed videos rendered in 3D, and an interactive training mode.

Even though it discusses a scenario encountered in the battlefield, the techniques described are very applicable to the hospital setting as well.

User Interface

Medrills uses a significant amount of multimedia to help teach how to do a Cricothyroidotomy. A detailed 3D video does the meat of the teaching, narrating details including the indications for cricothyroidotomy and the individual steps.

The video is quite detailed. Having learned to do a cricothyroidotomy on a cadaver previously, I felt this app helped to refresh many details.

The app also includes an interactive training mode that drills in the concepts with a combination of knowledge questions, matching games, and even scenarios where one can rotate a patient’s head or trace out the proper incision.

The app also provides an opportunity to earn continuing education credit hours, though this is only unlocked with an additional $5.99 microtransaction.

The app works exactly the same on an iPhone as it does on an iPad.  Although not reflected in the photograph below, the newest update has promised full iPhone 5 support.

Medrills: Army Cricothyroidotomy is a beautiful app that teaches with both a video and interactive training activities. I found the combination of passive and active learning to be a potent catalyst for my learning, and the app is recommended as an effective learning tool.


  • $3.99


  • Beautiful 3D renderings
  • Interactive learning modules


  • Content of CME microtransaction pales in comparison to the content delivered by the overall app

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Army medics, paramedics, emergency physicians and residents, surgeons and surgery residents, medical students.


  • Medrills: Army Cricothyroidotomy teaches through an effective combination of passive and interactive learning activities.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 4 stars
User Interface: 4 – Gets the job done
Multimedia usage: 5 – Absolutely beautiful 3D renders
Price: 3 – Contains a microtransaction for testing mode
Real world applicability: 4 – Great educational use

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.