July 01, 2013
3 min read
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New OrthoMind app unshackles surgeons from stationary computers

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Our focus this month will shift toward using technology to connect and communicate among orthopedic colleagues. We interview Aman Shah, MBBS, the chief operations officer of OrthoMind, LLC, a virtual practice community of U.S. board-certified orthopedic surgeons.

Matthew DiPaola, MD;
and Orrin I. Franko, MD

Matthew DiPaola, MD; and Orrin I. Franko, MD: How was the idea for this site and app developed, and how has it evolved?

Aman Shah, MBBS: Our board members and founders are highly specialized and prominent orthopedic surgeons. They approached the issue of developing a platform for orthopedic surgeons from an orthopedic surgeon’s perspective. That is, rather than develop a place where third-party news or multimedia content is presented and passively consumed by reading or watching, we wanted surgeons to feel comfortable sharing their own content and actively discussing issues they felt were timely and important to them.  We knew there should be a way to use technology for the surgeon’s benefit and for the explicit purpose of improving the practice of orthopedics. By maintaining that integrity and focus, orthopedic surgeons could work together on improving patient care, dealing with policy and regulatory changes, and ethically channeling their relationships with industry, etc.

 

Matthew DiPaola

 

Orrin I. Franko

The iPhone and iPad apps are a logical extension of this concept. Surgeons, more than most doctors, are on the move and what they do is visual. If OrthoMind was to remain true to its purpose, it was necessary to unshackle the surgeon from the stationary computer and to give them the ability to capture the images of what they see during patient care or at meetings.

DiPaola and Franko: Can you share some of the newest and upcoming features of the website and app? 

Shah: There are several innovations regarding orthopedic imaging, career management and orthopedic devices that are in evolution. We view orthopedic surgeons and industry as essential partners in caring for the patient. Whether it is an implant, an orthobiologic agent or an insurance coding specialist, the role of industry as a partner to surgeons is vital. We would like to begin to transform this relationship in a way that is highly ethical and exceeds the regulatory requirements for both surgeons and industry, improves the efficiency and bottom-lines of both partners and, most importantly, never violates our core commitments to the privacy and integrity of our orthopedic surgeon members. We are actively working with surgeons and industry, and expect that these features and solutions will be deployed for the both our website and app in the next few months.

DiPaola and Franko: How do you see OrthoMind and mobile technologies shaping the way orthopedic surgeons practice?

 

Aman Shah

Shah: The reality is that almost every time surgeons see patients, they see a computer. Almost every time they learn something or take a practice related action, they see a computer. Given surgeons’ lifestyles, the computer has to be as mobile as they are. Mobile technologies already allow surgeons to take a “library” with them and technologies are rapidly evolving to a point where they also have access to all their medical records.

What is missing in the mobile space are colleagues. With OrthoMind, surgeons also have access to the collective experience, knowledge, insights and input of thousands of their colleagues as well as the ethical, responsive and efficient presence of industry partners where they need it. To a considerable extent, OrthoMind already provides this, and in the coming months, we intend to make this a substantial reality.

DiPaola and Franko: How can surgeons join OrthoMind? 

Shah: We are extremely stringent about ensuring that every member of OrthoMind is an orthopedic surgeon. We do not allow clinicians of any other specialty to become members and access OrthoMind. We also confirm the identity of each applicant so a patient or commercial entity cannot “pose” as an orthopedic surgeon. That being said, the process for a U.S. orthopedic surgeon is streamlined. There is a short form to fill out by clicking on the “Join Us” link at https://orthomind.com/register (or just download the app from the iTunes store and register through the app). For most surgeons, this is all you would need to do. For surgeons outside the United States, we have put additional documentation and validation into place.

For more information:
Matthew DiPaola, MD, is an assistant professor and shoulder and elbow specialist in the Department of Orthopedics at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is a writer for iMedical Apps and co-founder of Touch Consult, a developer of team-based medical software to improve signout. He can be reached at matthew.dipaola@wrightstatephysicians.org.
Orrin I. Franko, MD, is a PGY5 orthopedic resident at UC San Diego. He has an interest in promoting mobile technology within orthopedic surgery and founded the website www.TopOrthoApps.com to help surgeons and trainees find the most relevant orthopedic apps for their mobile devices. He can be reached at orrin@toporthoapps.com.
Aman Shah, MBBS, is the chief operations officer of OrthoMind. He can be reached at aman@orthomind.com.
Disclosures: DiPaola and Franko have no relevant financial disclosures. Shah is a full-time employee of OrthoMind.