Remember back in the day when we made simple toys for pediatric patients to focus on during the physical exam? Remember the inflated medical glove +/- a face drawn on it?

I just encountered a FREE iPhone application (Eye Handbook), which has a lot of useful features. I currently only use the Pediatric Fixation animations. They can be found under the “Testing” section. Kids (and often adults too!) become mesmerized and distracted by the cartoon animations.

Despite walking into a room with a crying child, I often can come in and get a really accurate and quiet exam when the child views the animations. It’s like a magical light switch. Crying. iPhone turns on. No crying. I feel like a child-whisperer.

This is especially useful in performing the lung and abdominal exam. This helped us determine that this boy with abdominal pain and vomiting actually had a non-tender abdomen.


Equally amazing, without any instruction, the child swiped his finger over the iPhone screen to turn the page. This allowed him to view the other animations. Kids are amazing these days.


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD