Clinically Relevant made a very savvy marketing move to boost them into 2011 by recently giving away their orthopaedic apps for the iphone for free via their Facebook page. At first sight the long lists of codes in their status updates seemed a bit bizarre, but as soon as you realised that these codes allow the download of their apps for free you immediately engage with them and their products. Obviously, you needed to be a fan of their Facebook page to notice that this was all going on, and you then you needed to engage early and stay engaged throughout the day to get in there and grab codes as they were released. To be honest it all felt a bit like a scramble at the new year sales, however, as a result of taking part I was fortunate enough to get hold of their complete app collection for my iphone.
The apps that Clinically Relevant provide are available for the Apple and Android operating systems and consist of a set of mobile orthopaedic tools that cover treatment techniques for the spine, upper limb and lower limb, plus a ‘core’ tool that covers orthopaedic examination skills. In addition to this there is a low back pain algorithm and a lumbar spinal manipulation tool.
The Clinical Orthopaedic Examination or CORE app addresses orthopaedic examination skills for the entire body. It is a comprehensive tool that includes a surprising amount of information. Divided into anatomical areas each examination technique (and there are lots!) has a video and supporting evidence, and it is all very easy to navigate. The downside of this app is that it is expensive, but with the amount of information that it contains I can understand the cost and would probably choose it as help to have at hand over a book. Then there is the set of three ‘Mobile OMT’ apps for the spine, lower extremity and upper extremity which describe orthopaedic treatment techniques for each joint. Again there are video demonstrations and supporting evidence for each technique plus the ability to ‘favourite’ techniques for easy reference in the future. The Low Back Pain Algorithm includes evidence based low back pain management guidelines based on the clinical recommendations from the American College of Physicians American and American Pain Society that were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2007. It is a nice guide to managing a patient with low back pain, it contains management recommendations and an evaluation algorithm that directs you through an action maze based on your patients presentation. Finally the Lumbar Spinal Manipulation app presents all you need to know about the clinical prediction rule for lumbar manipulation. This clinical prediction rule that was developed in the USA refers to a general lumbar manipulation technique. This app, therefore, may not be as useful to practitioners who use spinal manipulation techniques that are more specifically targeted. This app will however help you to determine which patients with low back pain are likely to significantly benefit from this type of spinal manipulation. Two nice handy tools for contributing to the decision making in clinical practice and management of your low back pain patients.
The entire range of apps from Clinically Relevant are all very appropriate for use in clinical practice. They serve as a good reference for any level of clinician, whether you need to quickly look up a technique or find supporting evidence for what you are doing. My hope is that the developers will commit to updating these apps with new evidence as it is published which really will provide us with some great evidence based clinically relevant apps. These apps are on the pricey side, however considering the amount of work that has gone into developing them I can thoroughly understand any justification for that. Would I use them… Yes, great revision aids!