iPhones and iPads Take Position on Doctor's Wall: The Future of the Physical Exam

August 30, 2010

Two new applications, Eye Chart Pro and Ear Trumpet, hint at the promise of mobile medical applications to enhance the traditional instruments used for hearing and vision testing.

This article originally appeared at iMedicalApps.com, part of the HCPLive network.

Two applications, Ear Trumpet and Eye Chart, hint at the promise of mobile medical applications to enhance the traditional instruments for hearing and vision testing.

Eye Chart Pro

Eye Chart Pro (iTunes link) is a clever implementation of the classic Snellen eye chart for use on the iPad. It will also work as a quick “pocket” eye chart on the iPhone. As shown in the screenshot, the implementation is recognizable to anybody who has ever been in the doctor’s office. In practice, the clinician is supposed to hold the screen 10 feet from the patient in order to get an accurate assessment of visual acuity. In contrast to a paper chart, the letters can be randomized so patients cannot memorize the letters. Users can upgrade via an in-app purchase of $3.99 to a premium version which allows for smaller letters, which allows testing from five feet, as well as other features. The non-premium version is free, although the App store currently has it labeled as a “Limited Offer”.

The app has been one of the most popular medical apps on the website, likely in some part due to the fact it was available at the launch of the iPad. The developer (web page) states the app was the #1 medical app for two months and is being “used all over the country”. The Orange County register recently reported highlighted the app as part of a photo series on the iPad integration into UC Irvine medical school curriculum.

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