As a military primary care physician, we are frequently deployed to austere environments including Iraq and Afghanistan and asked to provide life-saving care for trauma patients. The current doctrine for military trauma care is called Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3). Many of the lessons learned in these austere environments have been applied to rural medicine and even emergency medicine in large urban areas. One recent example would be the increased use of tourniquets outside of the battlefield such as during the Boston Marathon bombing. Another procedure that has seen increased use, both on and off the battlefield, is the use of intraosseous (IO) needles to obtain access for fluids and blood. Protocols in ATLS, ACLS and PALS all mention the use of IO access when IV access fails or is unavailable/inappropriate. A number of different systems are available for IO access in both the civilian and military settings including the PYNG’s FAST1 and Arrow’s EZ-IO. I have used both in Afghanistan and each have their own advantages/disadvantages. The Arrow EZ-IO has a handy companion medical app available for iPhone and Android called Arrow EZ-IO.

Let’s try out Arrow EZ-IO to see it in action.

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Evidence based medicine

Although the Arrow EZ-IO app is primarily a “how-to” procedural guide to the use of the EZ-IO system, I was hoping it contained some supporting literature regarding the EZ-IO system. Many organizations endorse the EZ-IO system and a list is included in the app, but no primary literature articles/reviews. Nonetheless, IO access can be critically important in trauma and other resuscitative efforts where IV access is difficult or inappropriate to obtain.

What providers would benefit from this App?

Medics, students, residents, primary care providers, pediatrics, emergency medicine, any staff provider who may have to place an IO needle and has access to the Arrow EZ-IO system.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Interface is easy to use and navigate with abundant information on IO technique.
    • Outstanding graphics and videos embedded in app and available offline.
    • Available for Android.
  • Dislikes
    • Link to hands-on lab non-functional.
    • Layout of some font and images difficult to read.
    • No information on efficacy of the EZ-IO system compared to others included.
  • Overall

    The Arrow EZ-IO medical app is an outstanding reference and procedural app for the placement of IO needles using the EZ-IO system. The medical app may not appeal to a wide audience due to the focus specifically on IO and the EZ-IO system. However, those who do use this system will find the app an invaluable companion and ideal for training students, residents and medics.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Bright, colorful and pretty easy to use with helpful icons and numerous videos.

  • Multimedia Usage

    The app has numerous high quality graphics and helpful videos that are fully downloaded within the app for offline use.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    This app is ideal for providers who utilize the Arrow EZ IO system in their facilities. In the US Army, this is one of our preferred IO systems and could be used in the hospital and field/deployed environments. IO systems are likely underutilized and the Arrow EZ IO app makes their IO system easier to understand and ideal for training.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3.2

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad