Category Archives: Medical apps

A Few More Medical Apps

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From Med’Toons, by S. Goldberg, Medmaster

In addition to the popular medical apps listed previously, here are a few more to consider:

1.  MedPage Today.  This app connects you to the top breaking medical news stories that the public is reading.  While these news reports are not necessarily written by medical professionals, they do give you an idea of what your patients are reading and may ask you about. For iOS, Android, and web view.  Free.

2.  Unbound Medline.  This excellent app connects you to over 20 million journal articles.  You can also instantly email articles of interest to your colleagues.  For iOS and Android mobile devices. Free.

3.  Wasting time trying to find the right usernames, passwords, and PINs among an ever growing list?  One way is to have a single app to access all your passwords and PINs.  Some key ones are reviewed here.  A very simple (and free) password protection, though, is to simply list your usernames, passwords, and other codes alphabetically in a Word document that has a single password to access the file.  Security is easy to set up in Word’s Preferences, under Security.

The Best Medical Apps

Treatment that works for one patient does not necessarily work for another.

The term “app” (application) generally refers to a small, specialized program that is downloaded onto a hand-held (mobile) device such as an iPhone or tablet, although the term is also used for laptop and desktop computers.

There are over 5,000 medical apps, which are continually evolving.  There can be “app overload,”  where many apps are downloaded, but few are used.  What sort of apps should you look for?

Ideally, a medical app for a mobile device should provide rapid, useful information at the bedside or office visit (“point-of-care”) in such areas as:

Drugs (dosages, side effects, drug interactions)
Differential diagnosis
Current workup and treatment
Lab values
Calculation formulas and algorithms
Specialty items such as heart sounds, EKGs, dermatologic diagnosis, radiologic images, and vision testing, depending on your needs.

The top 5 applications that are favored by students at Harvard Medical School (http://mobihealthnews.com/10745/top-five-medical-apps-at-harvard-medical-school/) are:

  1. Epocrates:provides drug dosages, drug side effects and interactions, pill ID, lab values, calculation formulas, and algorithms.
  2. VisualDx Mobilecontains dermatologic images and diagnosis algorithms.
  3. Dynamedprovides up-to-date approaches to diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Unbound Medicine uCentralhas many apps that can be combined and customized for your particular needs and interests.
  5. iRadiologyshows a compendium of radiologic images.

I add a few more:

WebMD provides a rapid guide to symptoms, conditions, drugs and treatments, including first aid information.

Medscape provides information about drugs, including over-the-counter and herbal medications, diseases and conditions, procedures and protocols, and drug interactions.

MurmurPro offers a set of heart murmurs.

Vision Test provides vision tests.

Mediquations:  While Epocrates offers calculation formulas, Mediquations provides more formulas and actually does the calculations.

In addition to the above apps, there are also Internet medical search engines that can look for reliable and specialized information, as opposed to the sometimes unreliable information that is found through general search engines, such as Google.  A list of these search engines can be found at the MedMaster website, which also offers a downloadable app, called MedSearcher (free), which allows quick access to the major medical search engines. MedSearcher presently is only available for computer use on Mac and Windows.

All the above apps offer isolated point of information.  Apart from individual facts, it is also important to have a general understanding of the subject and field.  This requires a fair amount of reading, which for many students would be tedious on a small hand-held mobile device like an iPhone.  It would require a print book or an eBook reading tablet.  MedMaster specializes in books that promote understanding.

Do you have a favorite app that you would like to share?  Please feel free to comment.