CMC Alum Fujinaka Creates iPhone App for Medical Students

iMurmur hit the shelves of Apple’s iTunes store on Jul. 14.Created by Michael “Fuj” Fujinaka CMC ’07 to train aspiring doctors and help those already in the field to diagnose heart murmurs, the application became immensely popular almost immediately. According to the

San Diego Union-Tribune

, the application has been downloaded 10,000 times.Fujinaka wanted to help medical school students like himself learn to use their stethoscopes without having to practice on live patients, which typically doesn’t start until the students’ third year. The application allows users to quiz themselves by listening to heart rhythms, while displaying a diagram that matches the rhythms they hear.“I expected that the majority of the users would be medical students; almost every one of the 17,000 new first year medical students purchase a stethoscope and most will not receive adequate training in its use before the third and fourth years of medical school,” Fujinaka said. But he anticipated that the product would appeal to many members of the medical community.“When I first kicked this idea around in my head, I loved it for the fact that it has such a broad appeal,” he said. “I … anticipated that … stethoscope users [other than medical school students] would need training too—nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and physician assistants.”The Apple store provided him the ease and simple marketing he needed. He worked with a company, Phalanx Development, to program the application, and, according to CMC’s website, split the profits 50-50 with the company. Additionally, Thinklabs Medical LLC recently purchased the application.The process was completely new to Fujinaka, and he found it to be relatively simple.“I went about it from a user-standpoint,” he said. “I thought about the other apps I used, what I liked and disliked, and then planned iMurmur to be the most user-friendly I could imagine. I think my lack of experience in programming apps helped me to develop a user interface that was fresh and simple to use.”Fujinaka attributes his creative, entrepreneurial spirit to his family. “My grandfather and father were constantly talking about new opportunities no matter how well they were doing at the time,” he said. “At CMC, away from my family for the first time, I realized that they were entrepreneurs; I too want to be an entrepreneur … want the chance to build something from scratch and do whatever it takes and outwork everyone to make it work.”Fujinaka said his time at CMC helped foster this entrepreneurial spirit.“My friends in the Claremont community enhanced this by example,” he said. “I’d be around as they were starting Web sites, researching new molecules, or training for their sport. Four years at CMC, surrounded by motivated peers, solidified my drive to do as much as I can with the hours I have left after medical school responsibilities.”Fujinaka is always looking for ways to improve what he sees around him. In the past, he has “had ideas for different web applications and Web sites, but nothing that [he] thought was good enough to pursue,” he said.He is currently working on the marketing strategy for his second application, the content of which has yet to be revealed.

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