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Mobile Apps

Penn Hernia Calc

December 9, 2019


Penn Hernia Calc is a mobile app that calculates 3 different probabilities for hernias including occurrence, operative, and surgical site infection probabilities. Hernia Calc is created from health data of more than 78,000 patients including comorbidities, preoperative surgical data, and longitudinal postoperative outcomes. The calculations were created by the University of Pennsylvania Health System by pulling data for 7 years from 2007-2016. 



Penn Hernia Calc calculates probabilities for hernias. While the information is displayed well, there could be more explanation as to what the displays mean. There are some additional articles on metric questions asked at the start of the app. Penn Hernia Calc’s app seems to have some interface design problems. 



Penn Hernia Calc calculates 3 different probabilities: hernia occurrence probability, operative hernia probability, and surgical site infection probability. Results are shown in a color-coded bar graph for easy readability. Users can read more on the factors that contribute to their individual risks including:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • History of Gt Surgery
  • History of Acute Infection
  • Open Surgery

There is an option to have the calculated results sent via email.



Penn Hernia Calc displays the 3 different probabilities in 3 forms: predicted, simulation, and average. However, there isn’t any additional information for what these 3 forms mean and what their differences are. The interface’s “next” button between the health questions at the start of the app sometimes takes a few clicks before it moves to the next screen. There seems to be a faulty design where the button was created too small.

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