Review of 3M Prep for iPhone and iPad

Surgery has inherent risks. Anytime someone is undergoing a surgical procedure there are risks related to bleeding, nerve damage, or the possibility the surgery will not work as expected. Infections are one of the greatest patient risks and most costly problems for health care in the post-operative period.

3M has been a global leader in medical interventions to enhance patient care and decrease infection risks. The new 3M Prep app is designed to help teach healthcare workers about antiseptic options for a case and how to properly use a selected antiseptic to clean a patient prior to surgery. With proper knowledge and application, the app aims to decrease the risk of infections associated with surgery.

User Interface


The mobile app opens to a body diagram which covers all major operative sites. There are information tabs in the lower right corner the user can select for more information regarding contraindications to certain antiseptics, references on the antiseptics discussed and preoperative bathing protocols.


Using the body diagram, the user points to select the area of interest for surgery.


This opens a region or limb specific diagram to select the joint or body part of interest. Once the operative site is selected, the app presents several prep options such as 2% chlorhexidine, DuraPrep, or Iodine solutions.

pre scrub  leg prep


Once the desired preop option is chosen, the app opens a video that demonstrates and instructs how to apply the antiseptic. The videos are different based on the antiseptic chosen because each antiseptic is applied in a different manner. The video is high quality and the audio is clear and easy to understand.

data  references

Given the amount of high-quality video content in the app, it is a relatively large download at approximately 284MB. This is not a problem on most devices and can significantly improve the understanding and application of operating room antiseptics. I have seen several different techniques utilized by operating room nurses to apply antiseptics. This app does an excellent job of detailing how the the antiseptics are to be used by the manufacturer and could be a valuable tool to trainees or instructors teaching and standardizing this important skill.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Excellent videos and audio.
    • Simple body region navigation.
    • Good use of supporting information.
  • Dislikes
    • Size of the app (284MB); would be nice if there was an option to store videos on cloud and access with active internet connection for users who need to conserve local storage space
  • Overall

    This app delivers extremely well on its intended purpose. The design is simple and straightforward, but the content is high-yield and delivered in an efficient manner. The app could be very useful to medical personnel learning or teaching how to properly prepare patients for surgery.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Very easy app to use.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Excellent use of multimedia.

  • Price

    The app is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    This app can be extremely useful to certain health care personnel. Given that the app is free, it is worth exploring for anyone that is involved in antiseptic preparation in the operating room.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 5 and iPad 2

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad