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Original article
Development and potential of a clinical resource and educational iPhone and iPad App based on patient testimony
  1. Andy Levy,
  2. Dominic Alder
  1. Henry Wellcome Labs, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andy Levy, Henry Wellcome Labs, University of Bristol, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, 1 Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NY, UK; mdal{at}bris.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper describes the development and production of an educational and reference app designed for the medical and pharmaceutical industries as well as interested members of the public. ‘Clinically Speaking’ consists of edited, impromptu movies of clinical interviews of patients with common and rare conditions archived over two decades. Each is indexed by subject area and disease, identified by short title and thumbnail and accompanied by a description and Wikipedia URL. The app design allows users to scroll down through subject areas such as cardiology and gastroenterology, then across to access several hundred edited cases. For users with Windows, Google or Android rather than iOS devices, a similar experience is delivered through a web-based version. The almost complete market penetration of smart phones and computers allows educational database material to be distributed very economically. An opportunity to partially recoup design and coding costs and cover on-going expenses of upgrades, server charges and annual developer fees is afforded by app store sales. Distributed worldwide via the app store, ‘Clinically Speaking’ constitutes a versatile vehicle for addition of further cases and provides experience of conditions that are infrequently seen in practice. Apps and mobile devices capture the current zeitgeist and constitute potentially powerful new vehicles for delivering reference material and clinical medical education. The development process, described herein, is slow, expensive and complex. The market is saturated and the rationale for adding further apps needs careful consideration.

  • Medical Apps
  • mHealth
  • Assistive Technology
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