TechTool Thursday 029

TechTool review of Cranial Nerve iExam by Sylian on iOS

Cranial Nerve iExamination was designed by two medical students at Monash University. It takes you through completing a cranial nerve assessment and helps interpret the findings.

Website: - iTunes - Website


  • What I like about this app is that the developers have made an effort to do something new and different.  They could have just listed points.  For examples, for CN V motor: clench jaw; raise eyebrows; screw up eyes.  Instead they have put in pictures of someone actually doing these tasks.  These design elements make the user experience much more enjoyable.
  • I would say that the UI doesn’t strike me as a classic Apple user interface (although clearly passed Apple’s approval process) so some of the navigation buttons aren’t intuitive.  However it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

User Interface




Clinical Content

The content is good.  It doesn’t simply follow through the cranial nerve exam, but it helps to interpret and understand what you find, and throws in some nice design techniques

  • Visual field defects.  Using great graphics you can put in the visual field deficit and it will give the likely cause (using the optic tract diagram that you can never quite recall when needed).
  • Pupil reflex.  Integrates with the light on your phone to assess pupils and also helps with diagnosis of abnormal findings.
  • Fundoscopy.  Shows clear examples of possible fundi findings.
  • Sensation.  Allows visual representation of CN V sensation testing and interpretation of the deficit.
  • Rinne/Weber.  Visual display of the test and help working out what the results mean.


  • $1.99 – reasonable

Room for Improvement

  • It is possible to get stuck in one nerve for a long time.  The option to move on to the next nerve does not appear until you have gone through the whole test.  The user should have the option of skipping this.
  • The Ishihara testing part does not work well.  Sliding to move on is unintuitive and I had to spend five minutes working out how to get out of it.
  • There is no working website and no way to contact the developers (once I’d downloaded the app I was able to get their contact details from the app itself and they responded very quickly).  Setting up a basic website takes five minutes and there’s no excuse for not having proper contact details in the App store.


Before downloading the app, I expected that $1.99 for just a cranial nerve examination app would not be worth it.  I was wrong.  The developers have worked hard to develop an app that will be enjoyable to use, and helpful to those using it.  A few small changes would make it even better.
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  1. Tyler Groves says

    Not necessarily an app review, but maybe a post about the helpfulness of some of the broader “health” apps. As a medical student, I find myself reaching for more phone over a textbook more often than not…but which of these apps can you trust and which can you not? I.e. Best Practice, MedScape, iTriage, etc. to nae a few. Are there any specific ones you find yourself commonly referring to on the wards? All seem to say the same information, I just need a reason to pick one and stick with it.

    (I apologize if this has been a post in the past…I’ve just started following in the past couple of weeks. Thanks!)