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Doctor with An APPetite to Improve Clinical Care

As a clinician, are you having trouble interpreting your patients' ECGs (electrocardiogram)? Faced with a similar challenge, SingHealth's Cardiology Residency alumnus Dr Jonathan Yap formed a team to create the *Dr ECG App, a useful and interactive teaching tool that helps doctors and medical students to improve their ECG interpretation skills. The app has since been endorsed by several major cardiology societies worldwide. 

INSIGHT speaks to Dr Yap to learn about his journey in creating the Dr ECG App

1.    How did the idea for the Dr ECG App come about? 

Dr Yap: The Dr ECG App is a labour of love from a group of sleep-deprived Cardiology senior Residents guided by our ever dedicated mentors. :)

The concept of the Dr ECG App was first conceived when we saw fellow clinicians having difficulties interpreting ECG readings. Thus, we set out to create a learning tool that would be useful and practical for medical students and Residents for their daily clinical practice, to help them find clarity and gain confidence in their ECG interpretation.

2.    Tell us what is unique about your App

Dr Yap: There are actually numerous ECG teaching apps in the market that teach basic ECG reading skills. This is not what our App hopes to achieve. Our App is also not meant to be an all-encompassing ECG textbook. Rather, our App hopes to teach practical ECG skills that can be used by clinicians to tackle day-to-day clinical cases that are commonly encountered in our line of work.

Users can access practical tips and tricks, real-life case vignettes, useful algorithms as well as interactive quizzes on the App to enhance their learning experience. 
Through the App, we also hope that best practices can be shared to improve clinical care.  

Screenshots of Dr ECG App

​Content Page
​Sample Quiz

3.    Developing an app is tough work. Could you share with us how the Dr ECG App was developed?

Dr Yap: The journey has not been easy, but has definitely been enjoyable and an awesome learning experience. 
We started off having small groups of senior Residents in charge of various content topics, with a senior mentor who would oversee the work. After finalising the content and illustrations, we worked together with an app developer to come up with an easy-to-use interface. There were many edits and revisions, in terms of content and user experience, before the final product met our expectations. 

4.    What was one of the biggest challenges faced in the development of the App

Dr Yap: One of our biggest struggles was getting each team member to set aside some time out of their busy clinical schedules, to contribute to the development of the App. But having passionate team mates and supportive seniors, who really believed in the project, helped a great deal. 

5.    Any tips for your fellow doctors who are keen to create solutions that will innovate and enhance the way we deliver care?

  • Identify an important area of need or gap in a chosen field of clinical work.
  • Assemble a reliable team, whom you can count on to make constant and good progress.
  • Lastly and most importantly, persevere and never give up!

Our app took many years of hard work before coming to fruition, but the benefits that people have reaped from using the app and the lessons learnt are worth it all.

*This project was funded by an educational grant from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Clinical Programme and supported by the Office of SingHealth Academy.


To improve your ECG reading skills, download the Dr ECG App for free from the Google Play or Apple app store.