One of the steepest learning curves in residency education is plain X-ray interpretation. Nearly every medical specialty requires providers to interpret everything from chest X-rays to long bone films to abdominal X-rays. I vividly remember “radiology rounds” during my ICU rotation as a resident and getting “pimped’ endlessly over every patient’s AM chest X-ray. Orthopedics rotations were even worse with a myriad of pathologies affecting nearly every bone in the body and a specific “method” the attending demanded the interpretation be given. Although many texts on X-ray interpretation exist, very few quality medical apps have been published to help the beginner or even the seasoned provider.

Previously available as fully downloadable apps, Dr. Mark Brancel’s guides for primary care ortho and ortho trauma were my previous standbys. I find these difficult to use as web apps in their current format. They are available for download for the Amazon Kindle. We previously reviewed CXR Free, but it is limited only to chest X-ray interpretation. We also liked Dr. Strong’s YouTube channel for teaching chest X-ray interpretation. For choosing studies, I previously reviewed and enjoyed using Radiology Consult by Dr. Zachary Grossman, MD.

But what about an app that teaches the basics of plain radiography for more than just chest X-rays and ortho trauma? Any that include management of the pathology as well? Enter the Sublux app by Core Medical Apps. Sublux includes a primer on the basics of X-ray interpretation, a body/system approach to plain radiography, and over 200 different pathologies with evidence-based treatments. Best known for their app called Core Clerkships, the authors are a group of medical students/residents who met at Tufts. Sublux is their latest app.

Video Review

Evidence-based medicine

The Sublux app includes hundreds of examples of X-ray pathology for nearly every area of the body. It is geared for anyone wanting to learn more about the basics of X-ray interpretation, but it will be helpful to students, residents, and primary care providers rather than radiologists (though residents may enjoy it). The app contains treatments for each of the pathologies contained in the app, but no references are included.

What providers would benefit from this app?

Students, residents, mid-levels, primary care providers, hospitalists, orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, nurses, any staff provider who interprets X-rays, or wants to review the basics.

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, with detailed coverage of most body areas and common injuries
    • Slick use of labels for bones, pathology, interpretation tips, and even management
    • Includes basics of radiography interpretation section
  • Dislikes
    • Limited in scope with only plain radiographs for pathology examples/interpretation tips
    • No pinch to zoom on films/examples can make some pathology challenging to view
    • Not available for Android
  • Overall

    The Sublux app brings the basics of plain radiography to the masses without having to become a radiologist. The app contains an easy to follow process to interpret films with nearly every major body part and pathology covered. Although not exhaustive and limited only to plain films, the app is great for beginners to X-ray interpretation and seasoned providers as well. A must have app.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Simple to use interface with slick overlays for bones, pathology, and reading tips.

  • Multimedia Usage

    App overlays labels, pathology and reading tips for every major joint and system in the body in an intuitive and slick interface. The app does not contain any references or weblinks.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    A must have for the beginner and even more seasoned X-ray interpreter. Sublux teaches the basics of plain radiography in an easy to use and educational format. Too bad it is not available for Android.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 11.3

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad