Who is this app for?

In short, any person directly involved in the movement of patients: usually doctors, nurses, and paramedics, but also flight crew and students. It was conceived as tool for doctors in specialist training to record their experiences in retrieval medicine. Similar case logging apps exist for other specialists. As the idea grew, it became evident that paramedics, nurses, and even flight crew, might also want to record many of the same experiences with similar detail.

Is the app safe to use while flying?

The rules and regulations for the use of electronic devices in aircraft vary considerably between regions and aircraft operators, and your local regulations will take precedence. However, MedEvac Log does not transmit data when being used to record a case. If the phone is used in ‘Flight Mode’, the app can still be used with complete functionality. MedEvac Log will transmit data only when an email-based report is generated and sent by the user. If the phone is in flight mode this cannot occur.

In general, the use of electronic devices is becoming more and more acceptable in the aviation industry, and there may be a time when most restrictions are ceased. In aero-medical flights, the crew may be unable to use electronic devices because of other responsibilities. Whether MedEvac Log is used in the air or on the tarmac, it remains a powerful data collection tool.

Remember, if there is any doubt, always check with your pilot.

How easy is it to start a case?

MedEvac Log has been designed to capture a large amount of information as well as be fast and intuitive to use. Imagine you have just been activated for a job. By opening the app, and clicking the ‘+’ icon at that moment, you will both start a new case and log an activation time.

Can I record critical times quickly?

We appreciate that you may want accurate recording of critical times, but that you will have very little time available to actually undertake this task. The ‘timings’ screen of the app has a list of mission-critical times. All you have to do is turn your device on, and tap the ‘now’ button next to the appropriate time label, and the time is recorded. The time labels are decided by you, and all times can be entered or modified later if an error is made.

How much data do I have to enter?

As much or as little as you want. No data field is compulsory. After initiating a case, the first screen you will see is the ‘New Case’ screen. A brief synopsis of the case can be entered here, taking as little as 15 seconds. This includes information such as patient location, age and sex, mechanism of injury or primary illness, and method of transport. Some users may wish to stop at that point (or earlier). More detailed data entry is available for all sections if desired, eg patient details can be expanded to inlcude surname, first name, hospital record number, date of birth etc. Major sections allow a free text entry as well, for other details that can’t be anticipated with a list or button (eg. Carnival contortionist trapped in locked suitcase, with acute asthma)

Where is my data kept?

The case list data is primarily stored on the iPhone. When you sync your phone to your computer, a copy of the data is stored there as part of the backup structure created by iTunes. If you back your iPhone up the cloud, a copy of the data is stored there as well. Any exports of the data are stored wherever you email them. If your phone required a full restore for some reason, or you lost and replaced your phone, your case list will get restored to the version present at your last sync

How secure is my data?

Detailed information on your recorded cases can only be accessed after successfully entering a 4 digit pass-code. The same pass-code must be entered before you are allowed to export cases by email. Without the pass-code, someone who looks at your phone will only be able to see the general information displayed in the case list screen. This does not contain any patient identifiers such as name, date of birth or record number.

The app also utilises Apple’s Data Protection encryption mechanism, which takes advantage of the device’s passcode to lock your data when your phone is locked.  You can learn more about how this works in this article on Apple’s website.

If you have enabled iCloud back-up for your phone, the case database is also stored there. iCloud backups are encrypted and inaccessible to anyone else. Apple has a good description of iCloud security.

Any back-ups that you make on your local network are as secure as that network. You can choose to create an encrypted local back-up if you wish. Some of the potential issues are discussed in this Apple support article on backups.

How does the pass-code lock work? Will it slow me down?

We anticipated this and have struck a good balance between data security and usability. The pass-code lock prevents unauthorised access to existing case records. In the ‘Cases’ screen, tapping any record will bring up the pass-code screen before the details can be viewed. However, while entering data in a new case, no pass-code is required, so you will not be slowed down in the heat of battle, as it were. As soon as you return to the ‘Cases’ screen, your new case becomes an existing case and is pass-code protected.

Why does the app cost so much?

In comparison to medical case-logging apps designed specifically for other specialities, eg anaesthesia, MedEvac Log is actually very competitive. The price arises mainly from the very small market, and our need to pay our software engineer in dollars rather than I.O.U’s!