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Smartphone applications in orthopaedic surgery

a review of the literature and application analysis

Chen, Eric A., MD; Ellahie, Ahmed K.; Barsi, James M., MD

doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000745
Original Research

Background: Smartphone applications have become ubiquitous in various industries. Medicine is no exception. Recent studies have stated the prevalence of smartphone use by physicians to be nearly 90%. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature and a descriptive analysis of the apps within the field of orthopaedics.

Methods: A literature search was conducted using Medline and Embase. Search terms included the text word queries “smartphone,” “phone,” “cellphone,” “iphone,” “ipad,” or “android” which yielded 17,430 Medline articles and 35,166 Embase articles. The search was limited to papers in the English language that included the text word queries “orthopedic,” “orthopedics,” “orthopaedic,” and “orthopaedics”.

Results: After accounting for duplicates, the total number of articles was 677. After reviewing the abstracts of these articles, 34 articles were identified and their full texts were obtained for analysis of data that matched our inclusion criteria. Smartphone applications have shown promise within a multitude of subspecialties across the field of orthopaedics. Applications ranging in capabilities from angular management to preoperative templating and quantification of gait have already been developed and analyzed in the literature.

Conclusions: As more advanced applications are developed, it is likely that smartphones will gain an ever greater presence both in the operative room and clinical settings.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Financial Disclosure: None of the authors have received grant support or research funding, nor do they have any conflicts of interest.

Correspondence to James M. Barsi, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stony Brook University Hospital, HSC 18-030, Stony Brook, NY 11792 Tel: +(631) 444-3482; fax: +(631) 444-3403; e-mail:

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