Finding the Best Smartphone Accessories for Vet Medicine
This was a 12 year old dog on FNA diagnosed as having a MCC (Mass Cell Carcinoma). The image was captured on my iPhone through the microscope eyepiece. I posted the picture on TapVet and the community confirmed my diagnosis.
In a vet clinic there are many images created daily and most are difficult or impossible or costly to capture and save. Images are important so we can educate clients by showing them what we are seeing and also as baselines to compare with follow-ups.
A great example of a procedure perfectly suited to pictures is an otoscopic examination. We visualize an outer ear canal with its myriad of problems and have no way to easily and inexpensively capture an image to save for comparison, education or discussion.
The smartphone has become an important tool in the world of telemedicine. Camera, video and app functionality has made our smartphone an important tool in the daily life of a veterinary clinic. Having practiced veterinary medicine in a busy clinic for years, I realize that new tools are great only when they can be introduced into the clinic's workflow to decrease effort, improve communication and information storage.
I am going to go through the marketplace of smartphone accessories and apps to identify those potentially useful to veterinarians. I will trial them, review them and discuss how they could be integrated into the flow of a busy practice.
Products will be broken up into 3 categories :
1. Accessories that are adapted to the smartphone allowing it to function as a camera for image capture.
2. Accessories that attach to smartphones and include software add-ons.
3. Apps developed for the veterinary small animal marketplace.
The first category we will explore is accessories that enable image or video capture.
I am currently working with 3 adapters that can be used on any smartphone. These are the Universal Digiscoping Adapter, the Carson HookUpz 2.0 Universal Smartphone Optics Digiscoping adapter and the Gosky Universal cell phone adapter. All 3 will be reviewed based on how easy they are to use, how adaptable they are to the different sizes of eyepieces that exist in a hospital (otoscope, ophthalmoscope, microscope and the endoscope), image quality, construction and value for the money.
Stay tuned for the upcoming reviews.
Other accessories that could be used in clinics are the smartphone ultrasound, smartphone glucose monitor, smartphone otoscope, EKG, smart dog collars, GPS tracking devices and the D-eye-ophthalmoscope. If there is a veterinary smartphone accessory or app that you would like to see reviewed just leave me a comment below.
Many apps and hardware accessories will be developed to interface with our phones and will become a bigger and bigger part of the daily clinic life. So let's embrace these gadgets which will allow us to capture more visual data and create better tools for communication. In saying this, we can't forget that the gadgets must be able to be introduced into our crazy workplace in a seamless effortless fashion creating benefit with little or no effort - these are the perfect accessories. Let's find them!