Figure 1: A photo-sharing app for doctors


The medical world finally has its own version of Instagram.

Figure 1 is a mobile app that allows medical communities in North America to post photos for medical learning without sacrificing patient privacy. Users can also ask questions and give advice through the app. Co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy came up with the idea while he was working in the intensive care unit and noticed that doctors were sharing photos to help their practice. The app’s name comes from the title that photos are given in medical textbooks.

Annie Williams and Mata Kranakis helped develop the app at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone before Figure 1 headquarters relocated to Toronto’s fashion district. Both are recent graduates from the Master of Professional Communications program at Ryerson University.

The Ryersonian sat down with Williams and Kranakis to find out more about the exciting new app.

Q: What was it like launching the app out of the DMZ?

A: They are an incubator of start- ups (around 50) all working on totally different projects in
a great space and the opportunity to be around companies who are doing cutting-edge things.
There are great speakers and people that come in to give great help and advice and mentor.

Q: When the app launched, were you expecting it to gain as much popularity as it did?

A: No! We were very surprised; we hoped that we would find our market in that health care
professionals would use it and would get value from it, but we were really surprised at how
quickly it grew.

Q: What is some of the feedback you’ve been getting?

A: So we find that they say that it is very useful for them to see the different kinds of photos that
go on from different specialties. It seems that many of them work in one specialty and might not
see what goes on from mny other different health care professionals, so they get a real cross-section of what’s going on in health care. We also hear a lot from medical students and from nursing students that they find it helpful to be able to go on and ask questions and comment on the images and say, “I’m a medical student or nursing student I don’t understand what is going on in this ECG. Can you explain it?” and somebody who’s more experienced will come back and give them an answer. So it’s useful for people who are more advanced and who are just starting out in health care.

Q: What is the next for Figure 1?

A: We are focusing on Figure 1, trying to make it the best app that it can be and useful for
educational purposes. We are looking at new features and expanding it all the time. We are
also looking at expanding to Android and to other platforms. We are also looking to expand
geographically. Right now, we are available in North America but we would like to be available

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