By Patricia Salber
Everyone is always writing about the best apps in health care, but no one seems to talk about the ones that are really really stupid. That’s too bad, because we can learn a lot from what doesn’t work as well as what does. So I am going to fill this gap. Don’t stop reading! You are going to love what people have to say about these four really stupid medical apps.
The Amazing X-Ray FX2: LIVE Camera
This app seemed to enrage the folks who had to pay $.99 to purchase it. The app description says you can “use your actual iPhone or latest gen iPOD touch CAMERA to LIVE X-Ray your skeleton.” Wow, I wondered, how can they do that? Well, it turns out they can’t.
There were 89 reviews of the app with an average score of 1.5 stars – what you have to understand about this is that even the most worthless app, and apparently this is one of them, gets at least a 1 star rating. It is not possible to give an app less than a 1 star as you must choose at least 1 star in order for your review to be published. Want to read what some of the reviewers had to say (forgive the bad language it is theirs, not mine)?
“This app is a piece of F**K!!! DO NOT BUY THIS APP!!!!!!!!!!! Scan your foot and it shows a f**king hand!!!!!! Do Not Buy!!!!!!!!”
“I have to admit, I bought this app to see how STUPID it would be. But the second I bought it, I regret it. To all the people out there who are thinking about buying this app, don’t. I was once like you, about three minutes ago. I thought that I would enjoy the stupidness of the app. Do you really want to know what happens when you play this app?!?! It shows you a picture of a hand!!!! A stupid skeleton hand!!!! It’s not even yours!!!! You put your hand in front of the screen, and it shows you a picture of someone else’s hand. I regret rating it a one, it should be less than that…”
Stupid as hell”
I must admit that I took the advice of the reviewers, saving myself $.99 and, I believe, spared my iPhone the trauma of having this app downloaded into its body (Siri, you can thank me later).
Dr. Sanjay Grover, a board certified plastic surgeon from the tony SoCal towns of Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, takes responsibility for this one. The idea is that you can use your iPhone to simulate what you would look like with enhanced breasts. It has decidedly mixed reviews. Some people hate it, giving it ones with comments like “won’t work,” “stupid,” “retarded” and “horrible.” There is even one in Portuguese complaining that it didn’t work. And then there are the glowing reviews – 5 stars – but these read like they were written by someone who is or at least works for the good doctor:
- “…I think the reason this App is ‘quietly promoted’ may be due [sic] that Dr. Sanjay is a professional who respects his patient’s privacy [oh oh, I hope he is not inferring that real patients were photo’d for this App].
- The experience with Dr. Grover and his staff was exceptional and I am so glad I took my first step towards the new me…”
So, in all fairness to the app, I decided I should pop for the 99 cents and try it out. I do want to be fair and balanced for you, my good readers. And here is what I found. Most of this app is a big advertisement for Dr. Sanjay’s practice. In fact, I think it is a replica of his practice’s website. Annoying.
But, I still had to see if the morphing software worked. And, indeed once I watched the video and followed the instructions, it did indeed work on the photo of the model in the app. I was able to get her to go from more or less normal to what my granddaughters would call ginormous. So, I tried it out on myself. Couldn’t get it to augment or shrink me as it was supposed to, but I did have a lot of fun running my finger over my photo using the morphing software to turn myself into something that resembled an abstract painting….good for about 10 cents, I think. Sorry, Dr. Grover, it is never a good idea to piss off potential customers by selling them a bad app.
Human Body Anatomy
Now this one really shouldn’t be that hard to make good, but app developer Kenni Lopez managed to make it bad. So bad that one enraged reviewer said “The makers of this app should be decarpitated (have their fingers removed)…get it? Cause fingers are scientifically referred to as carpals and if you would have gotten a different app you would know…” Several folks described poor graphics and fuzzy pictures-a problem when you are trying to help someone learn anatomy. Another reviewer referred to typos (typos, really?). One even tried to give advice, telling the developer that he could fix the problems in a couple of hours, tops. He went on to list exactly what he though the reviewer should do. The most recent 19 reviews rated this app a 1 star and most demanded (but probably didn’t get) their money back. Shame on your Kenni. You evidently were sloppy and/or lazy and it made your paying customers very mad. (I didn’t bother to download this one either.)
As with the anatomy app, this one is a no brainer when it comes to development….just copy the words from a legitimate medical dictionary or from a reputable source on the internet. But be sure you copy enough. The main complaint about this app is that words that should have been there weren’t. And the search function doesn’t work. One reviewer “searched for diabetes and got, “not found!” He goes on to say that this is “truly the worst app I have ever downloaded.” Another notes the app is slow: “you have to sit and wait and wait for a half a minute before it starts to display the [letter] you typed….plus, the dictionary is missing almost every work [he] tried to look up.” It did have, however, “TONS of useless words” and only “about 1/3 of the crucial terms. And, it calls itself a dictionary.
I think the main take away from this post is you need to read the reviews and, if you accidently download a loser, let the world know. $.99 is after all $.99