By Joesph Sujka MD
Anyone who works in surgery will tell you that remembering the preference of all the surgeons you work with is next to impossible. Many people create cards or a word document to help remember how surgeons do various procedures and how they dress a wound. MySurgeon is an application that tries to simplify keeping all these preferences straight and make them easily accessible on your smartphone.
When opening the application you’re able to add a surgeon by name. You can add their contact information including their email address and phone number. Then you can add the types of procedures that they do, procedure codes, favorite instruments, and types of closure. This is all presented in an easy to understand format that resembles a contact in the iPhone address book. In addition to creating a contact for the surgeon you can also add future surgeries to the journal in the application. These act as appointments and will remind you when you have a surgery coming up and who the surgeon is.
What’s most interesting is that you can easily share these contacts through email or SMS. I wish that there was a central database where you could save the surgeon’s contact information and have a way you could find surgeons without asking for the contact, but I understand privacy would be a great concern. It would also be beneficial that once you assign MDs to specific hospitals you could share an entire group by hospital or your entire address book at once. There’s no way to share an entire batch of contacts, for example to a new employee, and sharing them one by one is difficult.
MySurgeon works well but I wonder why it needs a subscription service. To get access to the application as well as the online website you’ll pay $2.99 every month. With that you get access to the online web portal as well as MySurgeon’s online support services. I’m not sure if you can use the application without the online portal and I couldn’t find any information on the company’s website. A one-month trial of the application is included which is helpful to determine if you like it. I think a more reasonable solution would be to have one person pay for the subscription and let them share their preferences with others who have the application installed. In this case though why not just have a social media type system where the surgeon uploads how he does cases and allows others to see their profile before a case? A subscription model doesn’t make sense for this kind of application.
MySurgeon is a well-designed and easy-to-use application that acts like a special surgical address book. It’s held back from greatness by its subscription model as well as the lack of an easy way to share an entire address book and lack of central surgeon database. I would rather pay for the application upfront at a premium cost and be able to use the address book feature without a subscription service — then have the option to add the online portal. Convincing multiple people to pay three dollars a month for a surgeon’s preferences doesn’t make sense.
The app overall has an interesting concept. Having a surgeon’s preferences, such as the type of stitches they use, how they perform procedures, and other preferences can be vital to having an operating room run more efficiently. But there are other free ways you could accomplish this as well, such as a shared note in Evernote or Simplenote.
If you have the same OR team, this app could be useful, and it’s worth checking out as they give you a one month trial period.
References included for clinical information: N/A
Disclaimer included in the app: Yes
Authorship identified: Yes
Conflicts of Interest statement available: Yes
Mechanism for Contacting Developer Included: Yes
Date since last update: [9/15/14]
[For apps with health claims] Validation testing included: N/A
[For apps subject to FDA] FDA status included: N/A
- $2.99 monthly subscription
- easy to use, well-organized
- has potential to make your operating room run more efficiently
- subscription model doesn’t make sense for this app if it’s to be shared
- inability to share multiple contacts at once
- lack of central database for contacts
- can easily use Evernote to repeat the functionality of this app for free
Well-designed application that does its job well but a subscription service of questionable value — plus, there are free methods you could use to do this as well.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Excellent, easy to use (Well organized with familiar format similar to iPhone contact)
- Multimedia Usage
Free, $2.99 subscription is not expensive, but making everyone else on the team pay as well is excessive.
- Real World Applicability
Very useful (Quick and easy to use but needs more options for organizing and sharing contacts)
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad