iSpineCare is described as “a 3D animation library of spine anatomy and pathology movies that can be used to increase the quality of your patient education, while decreasing the time involved in delivering it”. It is an impressively easily navigable app for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch that provides a quick and efficient method of demonstrating many aspects of spine anatomy and pathology to your patients in a clear and mobile way. It can be shown to your client in the chair or on the bed during the consultation, in the waiting room, in the ER, and in the ward. Some examples of demonstrations that could be given include:
- how disc herniation leads to spinal stenosis or nerve root radiculopathy
- how annular disc tears lead to nerve ingrowth and chronic pain
- how lateral flexion of a degenerative spinal segment causes nerve root impingement
- why nerve root impingement causes limb pain
- how facet joint pain can be stopped with a medial branch nerve block
- how cervical rheumatoid degeneration leads to fatal spinal cord compression
- how poor posture causes muscle tension and pain
- how a tight iliopsoas causes increased lumbar lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt
- how pelvic muscle contraction lifts the pelvic floor sling
- and much more.
But what exactly does the app include. Well, it is broken down into anatomy, movements, muscles and pathology for both the Cervical and Lumbar spine. Each of these areas is then sensibly segregated into different topics which all include a video, notes and imaging where appropriate. What I really like however is the Xrays and scans and the way that information about this imagery can be viewed and labels can be superimposed. This is a great feature which would also be beneficial to students wanting to improve their ability to read spinal Xrays and scans.
iSpineCare can be used in different ways in your daily clinical practice. Depending on its implementation, potential benefits might include the ability to provide a more detailed education to your patients which will result in improved understanding, improved compliance, increased satisfaction and ultimately better treatment outcomes. For you not only will this result in happier clients but also less time spent giving better quality education which increases your time efficiency. Would I use the app in my clinical practice? Yes, if I had an iPad (bigger screen) to take it to my patients to improve their understanding of their condition, where this was appropriate and needed.