A new photo-sharing network is changing the way healthcare professionals interact and learn from one another. It's not for those with weak stomachs.
Figure 1, an app created in Canada, is essentially a medical version of Instagram; it allows doctors to share images with the medical community, as well as bookmark and comment on them. Many of the images often contain graphic material.
The two-week-old program, named after the illustrations in scientific texts, features everything from amputated limbs to lacerations to other maladies and surgical procedures.
I was trying to ﬁnd a safe way to capture and share medical images in real time," explains Dr. Joshua Landy, a Toronto-based critical care specialist and a cofounder of Figure 1. "The tool I needed just didn't exist."
When sharing, doctors can add arrows, comments and tags to their pics to clarify or strengthen searches, and can adjust the image's visibility with privacy settings. Figure 1 protects its subjects by auto-detecting and blocking faces, and also gives users the option to blur any part of a photo that might give away a patient's identity.
The app is free for download in the iTunes App Store. Figure 1's release is currently exclusive to iPhone users; however, it will expand to Android devices in the coming months.
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Image courtesy of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Mashable composite