Sunday, July 13, 2008

Special delivery: Q&A on Modality applications for iPhone

It was not long after Mr. S. Mark Williams Ph.D., the CEO & founder of Modality shows off an application for iPhone that gives detailed views of the human anatomy at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference '08, a huge wave of excitement is happening not only in iPhone world but also in the world of medical practices.

The reasons are quite simple, really. Mr. Williams' presentation showed us all how Modality's application presented a new way to learn human anatomy, in crisp images displayed on the bright-wide screen of iPhone. That's not all; Modality is creating applications specially to use the advantages of iPhone's touch-screen features such as navigating through images with just the flick of a finger, pinch to zoom, and tap to test your knowledge of muscles, bones, vessels, viscera and the joints.

But having a cool user interface is not the only thing that will get the attention from medical practicioners, as softwares and database are by far play more important role. Modality has made a clever move by using one of the most well-known human anatomical illustrations from Netter's hugely popular Atlas of Human Anatomy (4th Edition) as its main application's database;
Netter's Anatomy.

Modality Netter's Anatomy also provide a learning mode, where users can make use of it to learn or test themselves with flash-cards and quizzes. Making it suitable for both professional medical practicioners, or simply for them who're still learning the ropes. Here are some more informations of Netter's Anatomy from Modality:

The concise text reviews areas of origin, insertion, action, innervation, and anatomical relevance. The notes also include clinical correlations, where appropriate. A regional organization parallels Netter's atlas as well as most of today's anatomy courses.

Additional features include:
  • Use the comprehensive index to locate any structure identified in the set.
  • Toggle pins on and off to explore detailed illustrations with or without annotation.
  • All content is locally stored on your device for anytime, anywhere access.
  • Instantly look up structures on Google (requires network connection).

I can see your interests on Modality and especially its applications are piling up, along with more questions surrounding how and where to get them when App Store has been launched and running; and some important plans in the future of Modality's apps. I think it's best to let Modality themselves to answer for you, so I'm going to lay bare down below all of the Q&A between me and Mr. Bob Pleasants, Phd., Director of Education of Modality.

  1. I see there are three main categories in your apps list for iPhone on your main web page, could you give us a quick recap on each one of them? --- Our medical applications include learning and reference guides for medical students, nursing students, allied health students, and a variety of health professionals. We’re bringing the most trusted names in healthcare and medical education to the iPhone—popular titles such as Netter’s Anatomy, Board Review Series, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins’ Recall series, and many more to come.We’re excited to partner with the leading publishers in this field: Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, FA Davis, and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Medical professionals have been using mobile devices in clinical settings for years and we’ve heard from a number of them who are ready to make the switch to the iPhone. Many of our products are geared toward students in medical and healthcare fields, but we’ve also talked to a number of medical professionals who are excited that they’ll be able to purchase premium medical education and reference products for these devices.Our applications in K-12 education include titles from the popular CliffsNotes study guides and America’s #1 educational bestseller, the popular Brain Quest for grades 1 through 7. More great titles are in the works.Our travel section is currently comprised of Frommer’s Travel Guides. Frommer’s offers some of America’s bestselling travel books, so we’re excited to partner with John Wiley & Sons to bring these great titles to the iPhone and add helpful new features to what are already great products. We plan to offer Frommer’s Travel Guides for New York, San Francisco, London and Paris. More titles will be released throughout the year.
  2. I wanted to focus on the Medical category, since this one must be the specialty of Modality and the flagship app in general. But as I open it up, I find that you've categorized it to four more categories. Is it necessary to do so? What can you tell us on why are you dividing them like that? --- Our founder, S. Mark Williams, Ph.D., has a background in the biomedical sciences, so this is why we have a large number of medical and healthcare applications. We’ve categorized the Medical category into four subcategories simply to help students and professionals in these fields more easily find the applications they need. Because some applications (e.g. Netter’s Anatomy) can be used in more than one field, you’ll see them in more than one subcategory.
  3. And upon navigating those advanced categories, I've found myself lost in many options of apps for each of them. I'm sure this is done because of the vast knowledge in medical practice, correct? But how about for people who want to have them all, do they have to install each one of them one by one? Or perhaps you do provide a complete package for all of them? --- We do eventually want to offer complete packages of applications for students and professionals in medicine and healthcare, but we currently only offer them a la carte. We’ll explore packaging when the App Store opens.
  4. You plan to release your abundant apps on the same day Apple will release App Store on July 11th (rumored), are you right on schedule? And will all of them be available on App Store, or iPhone/iPod Touch can purchase them at other place? --- We plan to have a number of applications ready for the July 11th release, and nearly a dozen within weeks of the App Store opening. As with other iPhone/iPod touch applications, the App Store will be the exclusive distribution channel.
  5. Let's head back again on the Medical apps, one crucial factor for medical app is update because medical records are changing as fast as technology itself grows. Can users update the installed apps? Could you give us more insight on how we'll do that? --- Apple allows developers the ability to alert customers to application updates, so that will be easy to do.
  6. Price has play a significant role in mobile user's judgment to purchase apps they need, can you let us take a sneak-peek on how much your apps' price tag? --- Our prices range quite a bit depending on size, content, and functionality of the application. For example, Frommer’s travel guides will be $9.99; Netter’s Anatomy will be $39.99.

There you go, I hope the above Q&A can satisfy your hunger for more knowledge on Modality's apps. And just a couple days ago, I've received an update news on what are the softwares that Modality is currently offering:

  • Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards for $39.99
  • Netter’s Neuroscience Flash Cards also for $39.99
  • Frommer’s Travel Guide San Francisco and New York for $9.99

All applications are available right now via the Apple App Store, but with the system hiccup that's still going on in Apple's servers; I guess you'll need more time and wait just few days before able to get one of them. In the mean time, why don't you indulge yourself with the video clip explanation and demonstration of the Netter's Anatomy application by S. Mark Williams at this URL.

Thank you to Modality, especially Mr. Bob Pleasants, Phd. for the informations. And a very special thanks to Corrinne Upton from Vault Communications Inc., for all the help in the process.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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