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August 16, 2010

Mayo Clinic's Dr. iPhone App hobby turns into company

Remember Dr. App?

That's the Mayo Clinic doctor who took up iPhone application programming for fun and released a photo editing app called iBlurb.

Well, he now has a development company and a new app.

Focusing on the big picture, a smart-phone photo application created for fun by a Mayo Clinic physician is getting serious.

As a hobby, Dr. Paul Friedman learned how to program iPhone apps and created one to allow users to doctor photos with funny messages FoTrixpicand images like mustaches or horns.With the help of his brother-in-law Troy Mikell, he released that app, called iBlurb, in February.

 Priced at 99 cents, it grew to a peak of about a 1,000 downloads a day on Apple’s App Store. Now they have retired iBlurb to be replaced by FoTrix, a new, more feature-rich photo app built on the foundation of Friedman’s amateur programming. It went on the Apple website earlier this month.

FoTrix is the first commercial product of AppGeneration Inc., their new Rochester-based software company. Now instead of Friedman programming during off hours, the team has a professional coder, who is also a doctor who previously worked at Mayo.

“It is a lot of fun to see something that was truly a hobb transform into a real start-up company,” Friedman says.

FoTrix offers more editing features and more than 1,000 images like hats or animals to add, as well as providing a direct link to upload to Facebook.

The coming iPad version also allows users to use their fingers to write or draw on a picture.

Mikell says major retailers are talking to the fledgling firm about possibly using FoTrix as a marketing tool.

Now the hobbyist is no longer needed for programming. Friedman admits he does miss it some.

“However, as much as I love this stuff as a hobby, my true love is medicine,” he says.


I actually bought iBlurb and just recently bought FoTrix and I was amazed at all the cool new features it has. These guys took a simple idea and really made it work. Nice job!

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