A closer look at two smart phone applications that are getting more popular in the surgical community

The handyscope is an optical attachment and an accompanying app that converts an iPhone into a practical dermatoscope. The attachment provides up to 20x magnification for the phone's camera and illuminates the skin with polarized light, thanks to built-in LEDs and internal batteries. The iPhone app is used to store and examine encrypted images, as well as for sharing with others for second opinions.

Quoting from the apps' download page: "Just attach the handyscope to your iPhone, switch on the light, open the App and you are ready to start skin cancer screening. The lens is directly put on the patients’ skin, illuminating it with polarized light. With just one tap, pictures can be captured and viewed with a magnification of up to 20X. The brilliant dermoscopic photos show important details at a glance. This facilitates the decision whether a mole is harmless or suspicious."

The DASH lean by Brainlab AG is available on iTunes. According to the Brainlab, it allows the surgeon to learn basic setup, operation and troubleshooting with DASH™ learn, an informative resource for orthopedic surgeons performing navigated total knee or hip joint replacement surgery with the Smith & Nephew DASH™ Smart Instrument System. The app includes:

  • Video tutorials for general setup, knee and hip applications.
  • Illustrated how-to guides for general FAQs and specific topics for navigated total knee and hip arthroplasty.
  • Information for advanced support.
  • Can be viewed on all versions of the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad.

For those unfamiliar with it, the DASH Smart Instrument System is a portable surgical navigation system designed to assist orthopedic surgeons in performing knee and hip joint replacement procedures. It works to combine the benefits of traditional surgical navigation with a more cost-effective and easy-to-use solution.