Meet the Bone Ninja, an iPad App That Analyzes Bone Deformities!

When we think of a ninja, we imagine a sword-swinger in black PJ’s, a warrior who could give Spiderman a run for his money in a wall-crawling contest. The Bone Ninja app for the iPad employs a similar cleverness and stealth as it helps orthopedic surgeons and residents analyze bone deformities and map out surgical procedures.

John Herzenberg, M.D., director of  the International Center for Limb Lengthening (ICLL) at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics (RIAO), along with Shawn Standard, M.D., head of pediatric orthopedics at the ICLL, conceived of the app as a teaching tool. For the past 22 years, the RIAO has hosted a limb deformity course that invites the brightest minds from around the world for labs and lectures about orthopedic issues. Herzenberg says that they were looking to stock their educational arsenal with something “beyond pen and paper.”

Users can make real-time adjustments to X-Rays – or even photographs – of limb deformities; this helps them visualize the process before their patients ever enter the OR. Bone Ninja includes tools for drawing lines, measuring angles and lengths and even simulating surgical incisions.  Herzenberg likens it to the “before” and “after” approximations in plastic surgeons’ offices; surgeons can soothe patients’ concerns by showing them exactly what will happen. “It helps the patients understand,” he says. “And they really appreciate that.”

Patients aren’t the only folks who are grateful for Bone Ninja. Herzenberg says he’s heard “a lot of positive feedback” from his fellow physicians. The app’s iTunes page boasts five-star customer reviews with headlines like “A Must Have.” A typical note from the chorus of praise: “Our ortho residents … are now becoming even more excited about limb lengthening and deformity correction with the use of this app.” Herzenberg has personally coached folks in using the app, and he’s hoping to expand his reach through a YouTube tutorial.

The iTunes avatar for the Bone Ninja app is nothing if not unique: a scalpel-wielding, scrub-clad warrior. But how did this bone ninja earn his name? Herzenberg says that "bone ninja" was actually something of a happy accident: The ICLL and the team at No.Inc wanted a code name for the project during its early stages.

One day, the friend of a No.Inc developer asked him, jokingly, "How's that bone ninja app coming along?" While a play on the covert nature of a ninja, this name also references the popular "fruit ninja" game, where you can slice and dice your way through fruits of all stripes and sizes. "Once the developer said 'bone ninja,' we just fell in love with it," recalls Herzenberg.

The RIAO has authored one other app, Multiplier, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Multiplier can predict the mature height and bone length of children. Multiplier’s continued success has shown that a good thing can get even better: The RIAO team has released Multiplier 2.0, and that process has given them insights into how they can improve Bone Ninja. The RIAO’s reach into the tech world is ever-expanding: Herzenberg says we can look forward to new apps in the future.

- Laura Bogart

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 866-404-DOCS.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • #TipTuesday: When temperatures rise, drink lots of water to stay hydrated - it's important to your health! #DrinkWater #Water #Health #SummerTips

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: When temperatures rise, drink lots of water to stay hydrated - it's important to your health! #DrinkWater #Water #Health #SummerTips"
    5
    0
  • @marchofdimes honors two #LifeBridgeHealth Hospitals, #SinaiHospital and #CarrollHospital, for their hard work and dedication to help give more babies a healthy start in life. #MarchOfDimes #Babies #HealthBaby #LiveHealthy

    lifebridgehealth: "@marchofdimes honors two #LifeBridgeHealth Hospitals, #SinaiHospital and #CarrollHospital, for their hard work and dedication to help give more babies a healthy start in life. #MarchOfDimes #Babies #HealthBaby #LiveHealthy"
    7
    0
  • #BaltimoreOrioles pitcher Brian #Matusz was a big "hit" with patients,families, and staff during his visit to #SinaiHospital. Thank you to the @caseycares Foundation for organizing the visit! #LifeBridgeHealth #Orioles

    lifebridgehealth: "#BaltimoreOrioles pitcher Brian #Matusz was a big "hit" with patients,families, and staff during his visit to #SinaiHospital. Thank you to the @caseycares Foundation for organizing the visit! #LifeBridgeHealth #Orioles"
    9
    0
  • Happy Fourth of July from our #LifeBridgeHealth family to yours! Have a safe and wonderful holiday. #july4th #independenceday #usa

    lifebridgehealth: "Happy Fourth of July from our #LifeBridgeHealth family to yours! Have a safe and wonderful holiday. #july4th #independenceday #usa"
    6
    0
  • Snow in July at Sinai! Employees got a sweet treat to kick off summer when two #snowball trucks rolled into #SinaiHospital earlier this week, serving up more than 1,800 snowballs! Check out our photo album. So what's Sinai's favorite flavor? Most people chose to mix their flavors while many chose classics like egg custard, cherry and pina colada. Some employees even took a "snowball selfie" with their favorite. What about you? Share your favorite flavor on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #LifeBridgeHealth. #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "Snow in July at Sinai! Employees got a sweet treat to kick off summer when two #snowball trucks rolled into #SinaiHospital earlier this week, serving up more than 1,800 snowballs! Check out our photo album.

So what's Sinai's favorite flavor?  Most people chose to mix their flavors while many chose classics like egg custard, cherry and pina colada. Some employees even took a "snowball selfie" with their favorite. What about you? Share your favorite flavor on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #LifeBridgeHealth. #Baltimore"
    3
    0
  • Congratulations to #SinaiHospital and the VSP program, recently recognized by the National Fund for #Workplace Solutions as a "Young Employer Champion." The hospital earned this recognition for its proactive hiring practices and systems designed to foster young employees. Members of the VSP team accepted the award at a recent event. Sinai Hospital was one of just 11 employers from across the country to receive this honor. #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to #SinaiHospital and the VSP program, recently recognized by the National Fund for #Workplace Solutions as a "Young Employer Champion." The hospital earned this recognition for its proactive hiring practices and systems designed to foster young employees. Members of the VSP team accepted the award at a recent event. Sinai Hospital was one of just 11 employers from across the country to receive this honor. #Baltimore"
    5
    0
  • #TipTuesday Use smaller plates to help your portion control and avoid overeating this holiday weekend. #independenceday #july4th

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday Use smaller plates to help your portion control and avoid overeating this holiday weekend. #independenceday #july4th"
    5
    0
  • We are so grateful for the McKesson Foundation, which provides #GivingComfort kits to patients, like Darnell Grant, undergoing treatment at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute. The kits include comfort items, like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines, snacks and more, all meant to soothe our patients and provide them with hope during such a difficult time. #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "We are so grateful for the McKesson Foundation, which provides #GivingComfort kits to patients, like Darnell Grant, undergoing treatment at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute. The kits include comfort items, like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines, snacks and more, all meant to soothe our patients and provide them with hope during such a difficult time. #LifeBridgeHealth"
    2
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth was pleased to host more than a dozen #Japanese health care executives and #doctors from the Nihon Hospital Alliance. Through their conversation and exchange of ideas, LBH executives and clinical leaders learned more about the Japanese health system while sharing about changes in the U.S. health industry, ranging population health to genetic research. #HealthCare #Clinical

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth was pleased to host more than a dozen #Japanese health care executives and #doctors from the Nihon Hospital Alliance. Through their conversation and exchange of ideas, LBH executives and clinical leaders learned more about the Japanese health system while sharing about changes in the U.S. health industry, ranging population health to genetic research. #HealthCare #Clinical"
    7
    0
  • #TipTuesday: Now that summer is here, we want to remind you about the importance of protecting your eyes from the #sun. By wearing #sunglasses with proper #UV protection you can help reduce the risk of cataracts and other #eye damage. #CataractAwarenessMonth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: Now that summer is here, we want to remind you about the importance of protecting your eyes from the #sun. By wearing #sunglasses with proper #UV protection you can help reduce the risk of cataracts and other #eye damage. #CataractAwarenessMonth"
    3
    0