Figure 1' app helps medical professionals and students deal with depression and rare medical cases
"Figure 1" app founders Dr Joshua Landy (L), Richard Penner (M) and Gregory Levey (R). Figure 1 Inc

Mobile health application “Figure 1” is making quite an impression among clinicians, already gaining 5 million downloads since its launch at the App Store. The app allows users to share photos, study medical cases and share professional opinions for a more accurate diagnosis.

The app has caught the attention of medical professionals, who shared how it has helped them in their profession. Dr Ciaran Thrush, an orthopedic surgeon specialising in Sports Medicine and trauma cases, exchanged email responses with IBT Australia to talk about “Figure 1” to share his experience in using the application.

International Business Times Australia: How long have you been using “Figure 1?” Does it help you professionally?

Dr Ciaran Thrush: I have been using “Figure 1” for almost two years now. I use it as a teaching tool and like to post cases with a good teaching point for students or people from different specialties. It allows medical professionals like myself to lend opinions on cases posted by other users, either as a teaching opportunity or through suggestion on how a medical problem can be approached. It allows practitioners to interact with people from different areas in medicine and allied health, and enables learning from them also.

IBTimes: How does 'Figure 1' help in dealing with rare and exceptional cases?

Thrush: Difficult or rare cases are often best approached with a team of senior colleagues or with those from other specialties. Traditionally, this would occur within a hospital or department setup, or by consulting with a colleague from another place. “Figure 1” gives people the opportunity to gather opinions from a host of people locally and internationally, like in a big collegial team. Something that has never been seen in professional practice may well be common in another part of the world and “Figure 1” helps bringing clinicians together.

IBTimes: What is your take on issues of depression amongst medical students? Do you think 'Figure 1' can help them in dealing with their depression?

Thrush: Depression amongst medical students and professionals is an important, and sometimes underappreciated, problem. It can be linked to many factors, including overwork and burnout. Communities like “Figure 1” can help to make people feel included and a part of a group, and help raise awareness on these sorts of issues. Being part of a strong community can encourage people to discuss problems they may be experiencing and realise that others may be feeling the same way or have experienced similar feelings.

IBTimes: Do you think health applications such as 'Figure 1' are helpful in the medical field?

Thrush: Mobile applications like “Figure 1” can be strong educational tools and help bring people from different specialties, countries and experience levels together. It can be useful on professional, educational and social levels.

The “Figure 1” application contributes a lot to the medical community. It allows communication with other health professionals and serves as a teaching tool for aspiring medical students.

“Figure 1” is available for download for Android and iOS devices. The application can be downloaded from its own website, and from Google Play (for Android) and the App Store (for iOS).