IRQ Articles

A few good apps

01-17-2017 11:25

BY AARON SHILOH, MD  WINTER 2017

We all load our phones with our favorite apps. Some we use, while others just take up space. With millions of apps available from the iOS App Store, Google Play and other sources, it can be difficult to know what’s worth your time. In this column, I explore some of the apps I like and use on a regular basis.

Layout from Instagram (free | iOS and Android):

“Layout from Instagram” allows you to choose up to nine photos from your camera roll, pick the layout you like best, then edit it to make it your own. Layout’s smooth, intuitive process gives you complete creative control. Tap to mirror, flip or replace images, hold and drag to swap them, pinch to zoom in out, or pull the handles to resize.

I use Layout every day to pull together multiple images from a case so they can fit nicely in my social media posts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

Calm (free; can subscribe for additional features | iOS and PC)

A recent brain imaging study published in a Harvard journal concluded that “mindfulness meditation sessions alter regions of the brain associated with memory, awareness of self and compassion.”

“Calm” is a wonderful mindfulness, meditation and sleep app. The basic version is free but you can also purchase a subscription that allows for more features and options.

I use it at work to try to bring my team together before big cases and at home after a long day to fall asleep more quickly and to sleep better. The app offers unguided and guided sessions ranging from 5–30 minutes. There are also week-long guided programs or simple spontaneous short programs. Regardless of which options you choose, the app can help you relax and bring more clarity into your life, at work or at home.

SIR member app spotlight

DAVYR Y90 (free | iOS) by David Liu, MD, FSIR

Radioembolization is a technically demanding procedure that requires patience, skill and strategy. Despite the dramatic advances that have been made in the field, dosimetry (measured in Gray [Gy]) and activity (measured most commonly in gigabecquerel [GBq]) remains a black box. “Dosimetry and Activity Visualizer for Yttrium-90 Radioembolization (DAVYR)” is designed to demystify the concepts of activity and dose relating to both glass and resin yttrium-90 microspheres.

The DAVYR app itself does not differentiate between the technical differences between the two commercially available products and is designed to provide the user with a 30,000-foot view of the various activity determination models that are commonly used:

  1. Medical internal radiation dose (MIRD): Typically used with glass microspheres
  2. Body surface area (BSA): Typically used with resin microspheres
  3. Partition model: A mathematical model that determines compartmental doses to tumor, liver and lung.

The calculator features real-time simultaneous calculations of compartment activity and dose when applying the MIRD, BSA and partition models in easy-to-understand summary tables (Fig. 1). The iPad version of the app also includes powerful graphic features that illustrate the relationship between all compartments and calculation methods with more than 100 possible permutations (Fig. 2a and 2b). Graphs and summary tables can be recalculated and plotted instantaneously by reentering data or using the slider feature. Although it does not account for the number of particles or distribution (it is, after all, just a calculator), it can be a powerful learning tool to better understand when and how to consider the different activity determination models.

app1 Figure 1. Summary table illustrating activity determination methods and estimated compartmental activity (GBq) and dose (Gy) based on parameters outlined on the right side column (iPhone).
app2 Figure 2a. Graph plot example: Graph represents MIRD (red) and BSA (green) activity in the liver (dotted line) and tumor (solid line) with relationship to tumor fraction % (x-axis). Plumb line (yellow line) represents intersection point based on parameters entered in the right column (iPad only).
app3 Figure 2b. Graph plot example: Graph represents MIRD (red) and BSA (green) DOSE in the liver (dotted line) and tumor (solid line) with relationship to Tumor:Normal uptake ratio (x-axis). Plumb line (yellow line) represents intersection point based on parameters entered in the right column (iPad only).

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