By: Nathan Skelley, M.D.

It is becoming more and more common for orthopaedic residency programs across the country to cancel book programs. Instead, they are giving trainees mobile tablets and massive PDF textbook libraries. Instead of carrying one or maybe two textbooks in a bag, physicians-in-training can now carry entire libraries in the palm of their hand.

The same trend is being seen in scientific journal subscriptions. Several leading orthopaedic journals have shifted to mobile apps replacing the print journal mailing. Not only are these changes cheaper for the journal and be better for the environment, but they are also more convenient for the user.

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR) is a leader in peer-reviewed orthopaedic knowledge. They are a popular source for the clinical applicability of their practical articles and commentaries. Here we look at how the CORR app can be incredibly useful for orthopedic surgeons trying to keep up to date.

User Interface

Main

The app opens with a main screen in a list format. The latest journal cover issue is displayed with a list format of the “Latest Article” publications. If this is the first time using the app, the user must either submit a subscription code, academic institutional login, or purchase a subscription. After activating the app, the user can access any of the articles.

Content

If users missed an issue or wanted to review past editions, the CORR app has the ability to browse the entire collection back to 2008. All issues are easily downloaded to the device and stored for later viewing. They can also open any PDF in the user’s preferred document reading app or literary library app.

Saved content

Previously viewed articles can be seen in Recently Read or in the My Saved Items icon from the homepage. At the top of the page is a search function to search for any article in the journal.

article view

Within an article, users can change the font text size, search the article for keywords, and share the article with others. The directional arrows in the lower right corner allow the user to ‘flip’ between articles more easily than flipping through a print journal. References for each article are listed at the end of the section.

references

All articles have links to the referenced article but some of them did not link correctly at the time of trialing the app. Overall, the user interface is very clean and convenient and has many enhanced content features.

Price

  • Free
  • However, a user must have a subscription or institutional access to the CORR journal

Likes

  • Excellent user interface that is convenient, fast, and well organized

Dislikes

  • Although there are app features for videos, there are not many videos in the publication
  • No ability to make notes on the PDF

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Any subscriber to the CORR journal looking for a mobility app

Conclusion

  • This application is easy to use, delivers very well on its intended purpose, and is more convenient than a printed journal.
  • The app design is simple and straightforward making it easy to understand and navigate.
  • The app also has a great search function for finding previous issues and articles.
  • The CORR app is a leading example of how scientific journal content will be delivered in the future.

Type of device used to review app: iPhone 5
Version of App: 3.01

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 4.5/5

  1. User Interface: 5/5 – Excellent user interface with great layout.
  2. Multimedia usage: 4/5 – Although the app is capable of handling multimedia content, there is not a significant amount of multimedia content in the journal.
  3. Price: 4/5 – The application is free, however, the user has to have a subscription or institutional access to the journal.
  4. Real world applicability: 5/5 – More readers are turning to mobile devices for reference and journal information. This app makes the transition from a print journal to a mobile app enjoyable and efficient.

Disclaimer:
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 app’s 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.