New burn app continues Johns Hopkins' long app-development run

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School have created an app to help physicians better treat burn victims, both in the hospital and in the field, according to a recent announcement from the school.

The iPhone and iPad app--officially called Burn Medical Education app, or BurnMed--combines video, images and text to show clinicians how to handle burn victims in the first eight hours after the event, considered the most critical period for treatment. Users see a three-dimensional figure of a man, woman or child, which can be rotated to view burns on any part of the body. Users can input information on the depth and coverage of the burns, and calculate how much fluid the patient needs immediately.

Another version of the software--BurnMed Pro--even provides in-depth instructions for surgical procedures like an escharotomy, which can relieve pressure on limbs and restore blood flow to burned areas, according to the announcement.

"This app is designed so the user can understand the underlying procedures used to treat a burn victim within a few minutes," Harry Goldberg, director of academic at Hopkins said. "In a textbook, one could read several chapters and they still may not understand these procedures due to the educational limits of using text."

BurnMed is just one of several apps Johns Hopkins has been developing in the past six months or so. Even as the Food and Drug Administration closes in on mobile medical app regulations, and as many hospital CIOs say they are getting out of the app creation business, Johns Hopkins has several clinical apps on the runway, including:

Pancreas app: Launched just a few weeks ago, this app provides doctors with more than a thousand color images of pancreatic illness and treatment, plus teaching algorithms that non-specialists can use to hone in on a diagnosis, according to the Digital Pathology BlogReviewers there call the app "top-notch" and a "must-have app."

Cancer-management app: Johns Hopkins researchers created the underlying questionnaire and algorithm that powers the CancerCoach app, which debuted last November. It helps patients manage their medications, appointments, and symptoms, in addition to helping them talk with physicians about treatment.

HIV app: Researchers created the app, called the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide, last spring. It trains health workers to care for patients diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, and attempts to be a comprehensive resource for everything from symptom management to infections to medications to treatment regimens, according to coverage last year from iMedicalApps.

To learn more:
- read the Johns Hopkins announcement
- check out the BurnMed app itself.
- dig into the Digital Pathology Blog's commentary
- get more detail on the HIV app from iMedicalApps