“Smart Resources” by Parul Ichhpujani and Sahil Thakur (2018) Springer Series: Current Practices in Ophthalmology 260 black/white illustrations, 419 illustrations in colour ISBN: 978-981-13-0139-1 Springer Singapore
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Mrs. Parul Ichhpujani, associate Professor of Ophthalmology in Chandigarh, India, and her co-author Sahil Thakur guide us through countless ophthalmological applications/links available for smartphones and tablet computers. In 2013, more than 350 apps related to ophthalmology were available. Examples are reading charts, Amsler grids and colour vision tests. Besides patient assessment tools, links for education and reference for health care professionals are there, as well as aids for patient education, remote patient monitoring and social media. All this is at hand during ward rounds, or visits in intensive care, emergency rooms or lounges. The information is divided into refractive disorders, glaucoma, vitreoretina and uvea, cornea, strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology, oncology, telemedicine and data mining. Quick release (QR) codes help to connect with no finger typing. As a vitreo-retinal surgeon, I was specially attracted by fundus photography through smart phones. But then again, what do I do with patient data on my private phone? Data security is an issue.
But does this booklet make our life easier and are libraries being replaced? Not really: We may no longer need to rummage through dusty books and arrange with opening hours. But technology is not smart enough to overcome the restrictions implied by subscriptions journals. So, we will continue to require privileged access to full-text libraries. Many links in this booklet that are free of charge may not be free of personal interests, for example “Retina Base” sponsored by Novartis Company. Some of the social network pages guide us to “Facebook”. But many of us, especially in Europe, avoid contact with “Facebook”, to protect ourselves against data leaks, as reported lately.
It appears the android platform is more common, because many of the QR codes for the iOS world either do not open via iPhone scanning or lead to “Google Play”, an app store that is not compliant to iPhones.
In conclusion, our colleague Dr. Chandigarh merits our recognition in compiling these countless smart phone applications in the field of ophthalmology. But not least, and for the best of our patients, critical scanning and evaluation of all the new information make us smart.