When we first started developing software for the iPhone, we had no idea just how many people would find what we built useful and valuable. Over the past year, we have founds ourselves amazed at the ways the iPhone and mobile aviation software has helped improve situational awareness and safety. Every day we get encouraging and supportive emails from customers around the world: from helicopter pilots carrying rig workers to platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, to Red Bull air racers checking weather before a lap around the pylons. An email we received last night from a surgeon was most unexpected.
The email we received was perhaps the most heartwarming, tear-jerking, and unexpected emails from an unexpected customer. The first paragraph read:
I am sure that every day someone uses your software and its makes their
flight safer. Indirectly, it helps saves lives. Yesterday your
software directly saved a life. I want to thank you for this.
Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, the Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in Bronx, NY, downloaded the free version of ForeFlight Checklist and modified the standard templates for three major surgical procedures: total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and arthroscopy of the knee. In preparation for a recent surgical procedure, Dr. Kirschenbaum ticked off each of the steps in his pre-op checklist – except one:
When I got to one of the checks looking at a particular laboratory
I checked the lab result and noted it to be outside of parameters for
what would be considered normal. It did not receive my check on
ForeFlight Checklist. I called over the anesthesiologist and brought
this up to his attention. This led us to look deeply into the chart and
we noted an undiagnosed liver problem that would have placed the patient
at high risk for this surgical procedure. All this done before the
‘flight’ started. A life was saved.
As software developers, this is both humbling and inspirational. The iPhone is truly an evolution that is changing the way people work, interact, and interface with software. We are grateful and excited to be a part of the change.