A study presented by Raymond Glassenberg, MD, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, during the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2012 annual meeting demonstrated that an iPhone application called iLarynx™ he created was extremely effective at simulating a fiberoptic bronchoscopy.

When students trained using the app eventually used a real bronchoscope on a manikin, they were able to complete the procedure in less than half the time of students exposed to anatomy photos only. In addition, their failure rate was reduced by more than 80 percent.

Glassenberg said: “This app is a realistic, 3D, interactive simulation of a very important procedure, which was designed for a new generation of anesthesiologists who grew up playing Nintendo. The app provides a feel for what we do in the hospital, and it very closely resembles the real world.”

He stressed the importance of extensive training and excellent hand-eye coordination needed when using a flexible bronchoscope to navigate breathing tubes past delicate anatomy like the vocal chords.

The free iLarynx™ app has been downloaded more than 15,000 times and was recognized by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology with a “Best in Education” award.