Instagram is the popular photo (and now video) sharing app that was recently snapped up by Facebook. Sharing patient pictures on the social media is always a dodgy thing to do as there might be a breach of privacy if identifiable details are displayed. Hence I am not surprised that Instagram has not been used much by medical people for this purpose.
Enter Fig. 1, a free app available for iOS (sorry, no Android version yet) which allows doctors to share medical images, favorite, comment and all the things which make Instagram popular. The difference which makes this app medical friendly and safe(r) is that the app has
- automatic face blocking, and removal of identifying patient details with the swipe of a finger
- public, private or small group sharing – you decide for each image
- easy to use consent form with “tap, type and sign” feature
The last bit is important as sometimes in our excitement at seeing something unusual, and in a snap happy frenzy, we forget to take the patient consent.