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article imageReview: Figure 1 app modernizing the medical community Special

By Maria Elisa Anacay     Jul 4, 2013 in Health
Perhaps the whole medical industry will agree that early detection could make the difference between life and death. With the revolutionary app Figure 1, doctors can now make more informed decisions backed up by their contemporaries.
Many things in the medical community could be dubbed as “similar.” For instance, a simple rash could be the telltale sign of Lyme disease, while a case of chapped lips could actually be actinic cheilitis, one of the symptoms of skin cancer. Since these diagnoses are preceded by similar symptoms, it is often easy for medical practitioners to mistake one for the other. In fact, RightDiagnosis.com cites a study from the Institute of Medicine that medical errors cause 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually.
Despite the pressure placed upon physicians to relieve the ailments of their patients, they are also often brought to court for cases of malpractice, violation of patient privacy, and a host of other causes that could run from the simple (for example, a relative did not like the way a doctor said “Good morning”) to the complex (misdiagnosis leading to death). Yet sharing information about patients is a way for doctors to determine if they are making the right judgment calls.
Thus creating a need for a platform that will enable patients to safely share medical images without compromising a patient’s privacy. This need was further explored by Movable Science as it developed Figure 1, an application for iOS-powered devices. As the organization’s co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy said, “I developed Figure 1 because I wanted a safe way to share medical images with the medical community, while protecting patients’ privacy.”
Dr. Joshua Landy is a practitioner of critical care and internal medicine. He often works with patients with complex conditions. “My patients often need to see multiple specialists in a short period of time,” says Dr. Landy. “And their conditions change rapidly.” Yet oftentimes waiting for the right specialists could take too long. As such, Dr. Landy teamed up with Richard Penner and another partner to develop Figure 1.
Dr. Joshua Landy
Dr. Joshua Landy
Dr. Joshua Landy
The results became nothing but miraculous. “It’s free, it’s crowd-sourced, and it is designed to protect patient privacy,” says Dr. Landy. “What I wanted to do was make an educational resource for the healthcare community, more akin to a medical image library. Traditionally, medical images have been expensive and hard to come by – especially on a mobile phone. This is too bad because they really are valuable for education. Figure 1 is the first app to make these images quickly and readily available. It’s a living library so to speak.”
True enough, Figure 1 quickly became the Instagram of medical practitioners, albeit without the filters. Figure 1 enables users to upload images of their cases while removing distinguishing patient traits (such as a tattoo or mole) and having the option of sharing the image to a selected few or to the entire Figure 1 community. It is also an effective platform that enables users to comment on images and discuss the cases, therefore getting valued second and third opinions on their cases from users all over the globe.
Like majority of medical innovations, Figure 1 could be met with skeptics that will question a doctor’s motives upon uploading medical mysteries. For this reason, a consent form is included in the app to protect both the patient and the physician. It could be answered and signed by either the patient or his representative. Similarly, the value proposed by the app far outweighs the risks, as having the opinion of the medical community when making an important decision could make the difference between saving a patient or misdiagnosing a serious disease.
Not surprisingly, even the non-medical industry could benefit from the app. “We do think that better educated doctors help everybody - regardless of what industry they work in,” said Dr. Landy. “We all interact with the healthcare system in some way, whether it’s as a patient or a healthcare professional. And I personally believe that doctors with better tools create better outcomes for the patients they treat…Our mission is to make the lives of healthcare professionals easier, and the first version of Figure 1 is an exciting start to that.”
Figure 1 is a revolutionary app that is created by doctors in an attempt to improve the medical community for all.
To download Figure 1, click here.
More about Figure 1, medical app, movable science, Technology
 
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