Smart Phone Applications Created by FMU Health Physics Students

Nicole Guest, Staff Writer

Throughout the 2012 Spring Semester at FMU, Health Physics majors Drake Brookins, Pratik Patel and Joseph Conner created three iPhone Applications (apps) for the physics community while in an app workgroup in a Senior Research course.
Dr. Derek Jokisch, Professor of Physics and Health Physics, initially thought of creating something for the smart phone world.
“I had the idea to do this last summer and fall,” Jokisch said.
Jokisch said that he knew Brookins, Patel and Conner were interested in Apple and computing; therefore, he felt they were the right students for the project.
Jokisch hosted a meeting with the three students to introduce the creation of iPhone apps.
According to Jokisch, he and the students held weekly group meetings and worked together on making the apps as functional as possible.
Patel, FMU Senior majoring in Health Physics, was proud of the hard work that the group accomplished.
“We did it all by ourselves,” Patel said.
The three different apps created by the group include iRadiation, RadRegs and Fluence.
According to Jokisch, the apps were so successful that when he and the three students presented the project in a Health Physics meeting in Sacramento, California, professionals were impressed.
After being given the opportunity to personally try these apps, it was evident how detailed and professional each one was.
Brookins, a former Health Physics student who graduated from FMU in May, was the primary creator of the iRadiation app.
According to Jokisch, the iRadiation app is free, which may attract a lot of users.
“We’re hoping that one will get a lot of widespread use,” said Jokisch.
The iRadiation app is a radiation dose calculator.  It features a sequence of questions regarding location, flights, medical procedures and habits.  The app later displays a chart describing the amount of radiation exposure to the user based on the questionnaire.
Jokisch mentioned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) experimented with something close to the iRadiation app, but did not update it with recent information.
Jokisch added that the EPA was close to bidding for contracts for writing the same application themselves, but that the group is excited about FMU’s bid for the app being accepted.
He mentioned that the EPA may possibly endorse the app, an important achievement for FMU.
The other two apps will cost somewhere between $5 and $10. RadRegs was created predominantly by Patel.
According to Patel, the RadRegs app is the 10CFR20 code of Federal Regulations regarding Radiation Laws.  The app enables the user to view the legal document while working in a lab.
“Health physicists can quickly access the document on the phone instead of looking it up in a book,” Patel said.
Patel said that the document is full of lawyer language, so he created an interpretation link in which the user can view a condensed version of the document that is easier to understand.
Conner, former FMU student who graduated in May, was the primary creator of the Fluence app.  According to Jokisch, this particular app is heavily geared towards a nuclear physicist audience since it features a convertor that is used for dose rates from photons.
“It calculates photons in simple sources in which they are found,” Jokisch said.
According to Patel, the screens in both the apps intentionally feature the FMU colors of Red, White and Blue.  The startup screen for each app is the FMU logo, which Jokisch says is a great way to get FMU’s name out there.
Jokisch said the apps are not available yet.
“We just need to put polishing touches on them,” Jokisch said.
He and Patel are excited about the apps becoming publically available this September.
“As an FMU student, these apps being out there is good for the publicity of the Health Physics Program,” Patel said.  “And for the user, it gives them confidence that the app has reliable information because it’s from a university.”
Jokisch said he is anticipating the reception of the apps and is planning to make more.
“We hope it’s going to lead to other opportunities,” Jokisch said.  “I am hoping to get additional students on this project.”