A Critical review of surgical logbook applications for the android and iOS platforms in the Australian setting

Navid Ahmadi, Niranjan Sritharan, Elishan Aruliah


Smartphones have become pervasive in all aspects of modern life and the health care industry is not immune. Currently smartphone applications (apps) are used by 85–87 per cent of physicians. Surgical logbooks are a mandatory part of training and time consuming to maintain.

We conducted a critical review of available logbooks apps in the Australian market for Android and iPhone and reported our findings.

A critical search through the Google Play Store's (Android) and Apple’s App Store's (iOS) Australian marketplace was conducted with keywords of “logbook” and other suitable variations in January 2017. Apps were critically reviewed and against the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Minimum Dataset (MDS) and Extended Dataset (EDS). Apps were included if they could be utilised to record clinical procedures.

Seven apps were available and fit the criteria of our search: Surgeons Logbook, eLogbook, LogBox Academic, SurgCase, T-Res 2, Surgeon Log Book Free, and SurgiLog. None of the apps completely satisfied the requirements of maintaining a surgical logbook as stipulated by RACS. However, Surgeon’s Logbook provided ability to customise the logbook fields, which allows users to modify their logbook app to meet the requirements. Furthermore, the lack of connection to hospital electronic medical records, or RACS, limits the usability of these apps for Australian trainees.

The current apps available in the market do not meet the requirements of Australian trainees. However, with the advancing technology and rapid progress of smartphones and their apps, this is likely to change in the future.
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