A Reusable iPad Application Framework for Anatomic Pathology Education
Toby C Cornish, Armanda D Tatsas, Bona Kim, Corinne Sandone, Barker J Norman, Ralph H Hruban. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Background: Tablet devices such as the Apple iPad are changing the way we interact with media. Tablets feature high resolution screens, intuitive multitouch interfaces, and "app stores" for content distribution. These qualities make them ideal for delivering image-heavy content with richly-interactive features. To demonstrate the utility of tablets for teaching pathology, we created a reusable application framework for educational iPad "apps."
Design: The app framework includes four modules: an image atlas, an image-based quiz, flashcards, and an interactive teaching algorithm. The modules share a collection of images and a relational database containing image and quiz data. Additional features such as embedded video tutorials and medical illustrations are also used to enhance the educational value. The teaching algorithm is stored as XML in Property List files. The framework was designed for ease of reuse, and a new app can be created by recompiling the templated code base with a new set of image and data resources. The app framework was written in Objective-C using the Xcode4 IDE and iOS SDK v. 6.0. Data was authored using Microsoft Access 2010 and exported as a SQLite3 database.
Results: To date, two apps have been created using this framework. The first app, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Pathology, contains 1479 images, covers 115 diagnostic entities, and provides 166 self-study questions. The app has been downloaded over 11,000 times in over 33 countries. The second app, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Cytopathology, contains 703 images, covers 25 diagnostic entities, and provides 95 self-study questions. This app will be released in October 2012. Both apps are available in the iTunes store at no cost.
Conclusions: We have designed a reusable app framework and used it to produce the first comprehensive pathology atlases for the Apple iPad. We have demonstrated that tablet devices are uniquely suited for the delivery of educational pathology materials and can provide novel interactive features not seen in traditional print media.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:30 AM
Poster Session III # 62, Tuesday Morning