Mātai News

A Night in the ER’ up for a ‘Minnie’ award

The Gisborne Herald, 15 November 2021

“A Night in the ER” has the ring of any number of popular medical television dramas. But it is the name of a teaching file in an app developed by Matāi Medical Research Institute clinical lead Dr Daniel Cornfeld which has gained recognition on a global platform.

The ER teaching file has reached the semifinals in the Minnies, awards given out each year by AuntMinnie.com, a site for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry.


Dr Cornfeld said he was very grateful for the global recognition on AuntMinnie.com.


“Every year they give awards for best teaching apps and research. This year Radiology 2.0: A Night in the ER teaching file got into the semi-finals, which was really surprising for me, because the first draft was written in 2011.


“It wasn’t an app back then, it was a computer-based learning module. Later on it got developed into an app and now it’s 2021 — after ten years, it’s nice that I got noticed.”


Dr Cornfeld created the first ever educational mobile app for radiology, Radiology 2.0.


The app has a series of teaching files for radiology students and trainees. Dr Cornfeld said the teaching system for radiology had always focused on disease pathology, while the practice was image-based. He saw a need to bridge that gap. “The app aimed to be the second generation of radiology training,” he said.

“For example, when teaching liver cancer, they’ll give you information on liver cancer and then show you the liver cancer.


“But in practice you would start with the images to figure out the diagnosis. “Seeing a couple of pictures of liver cancer doesn’t teach you how to look at the images and figure out all the other diagnoses it could mean.”


The app has four teaching files which presents images like “you would see in your regular job”.


“It takes the learner through a simulation — how to approach the images, what we are looking for, how to examine what it could be, and then come up with a final diagnosis.”


The series Radiology 2.0 has been free to download on Apple store since 2011 and the app has been downloaded over 240,000 times. The most recent addition to the series is called Head CTs, which came out in 2019.


Dr Cornfeld said each teaching series had a compilation of different case studies. “One Night in the ER is to teach CTs, which can be done in a common emergency room setting. It has 65 example cases in it. “Head and CTs has 60 cases and it teaches you how to read a CT of the brain. “Pregnant Appendicitis teaches you how to use MRI to look at images of the abdomen and pelvis. Normally if you have an upset belly you get a CT for your abdomen and pelvis, but you can use MRI for the same thing.


“At a hospital where I worked, we wouldn’t do CTs on pregnant patients, we would do an MRI and had a great experience in reading it on a pregnant patient.

“I figured if you can read MRI on a pregnant patient where the uterus is pushing everything away, you can read it on other patients. This file teaches you how to read that MRI.


“The fourth file is called Cases from the World’s End and it is a compilation of 45 really interesting cases from Gisborne since I have been here for the last six years.”


Dr Cornfeld said not many people pursued radiology in Gisborne.


“I think there needs to be more opportunity for students in terms of science and maths”.


“We need to invest so more people get into universities to do research and get interested in medicine.


“One of the things we try to do at Matāi is to get people interested in science, research and medical imaging in hopes people from Gisborne would pursue the field and come back to practise it here.”