Monthly Archives: December 2011

Great Apps for Healthcare Providers

There are many apps in the Mac App store and new ones are listed daily. As it is with anything that has a lot of choices, there is always that difficulty in choosing what app to download to your Iphone , Ipod touch or Ipad. I have put together a list of some of the apps that I have used and similar ones that have good reviews. The list is in no way exhaustive as there are some apps that did not make the cut either because I do not remember them, or they were sub-par.

The list has mainly free apps and one or two paid apps. They are all available for download at the Mac App Store through your device or from your computer. You must have an apple account to be able to do so.

Epocrates-free: 

It is a mobile version of the popular drug and formulary site, Epocrates. The app provides a comprehensive list of medications with details about dosing, side effects and special precautions.

It also has a section on drug-drug interactions which is very important in clinical medicine. It has regular updates and would prompt you for updates in the app. You do not have to download a new app as is common with other apps, but rather it will prompt you when you open it if there are new updates and it will seamlessly update its database.

Killer features: Drug interaction tool, in-app updating, built-in calculators and pill color rendering.

Similar app: Lexicomp- Requires subscription, Micromedex

Micromedex-free:

Described by the makers as “The World’s most complete and carefully researched clinical decision support system. The tool is popular among clinicians in their day to day duties in hospital and clinic. It has built in more than 4500 search terms. The app gives details like dosages, drug interactions, and pharmacokinetics. It also talks about breastfeeding and other precautions. This tool is also complete but despite that, there is a separate tool that they try to up-sell you when you use this Micromedex app called Micromedex Drug Interactions for $9.99. I wonder what it will contain beyond what is already in the free app.

Killer features: Clinical teaching for the patient, Toxicology, Drugs by class

Similar app: Lexicomp-Requires subscription, Epocrates

STAT Growth Charts Lite-free:

A simple tool to input a child’s parameters and it will give you the percentile for weight and height with z-scores. It shows you sample graphs, calculates BMI for you and gives you an option of whether your patient is a boy or a girl. You can choose whether your results are calculated in centimeters or inches and for weight whether in kilograms or in pounds (If you are non-U.S.A. reading, yes we still use pounds sometimes over here). There are many other apps made by the same company including the full version which gives you a graph where the patient’s details would have already been plotted. Other products which are not free include STAT Growth Chart WHO and STAT BMI Obesity chart.

Killer features: Calculator with unit type selector, BMI reporting

Similar apps: Qx Calculate, Medcalc

Medcalc-$0.99:

One of the most comprehensive tools for calculating most things in medicine like dosages, Age, A-a-O2 gradient to Urine excretion of sodium. Target height, resuscitation medication dosages, and Pediatric trauma score tool among others. It is a great tool to have and it has sections based on specialties like Cardiology, Trauma, ER and ICU.

Killer features:Dosage calculator in-built, Evidence-based medicine tools

Similar apps: Medical calculators-$0.99, Medical calculator-$0.99,

First Consult-free:

This app supplies evidence-based answers to clinical questions at the point of care. It is linked to MD Consult and would let you connect and open an account if you use MD Consult at your institution. It has a large collection of first-hand information that could be useful when evaluating a patient. The medical topics are arranged alphabetically and can be searched. Each topic/diagnosis then has Summary, Background, Diagnosis, Treatment, Summary of Evidence Outcomes, Prevention, and Resources.

Killer features: Recent folder which stores recently accessed content, In-app updates

Similar apps: Medscape, Pediatric Care Online

STAT Asthma NHLB-free:
Red Book-subscription:
An interactive tool to help physicians navigate the complex NHLBI Guidelines for asthma treatment. It has stepwise approach and chart for the different degrees of severity of asthma. It also stratified treatment categories into 0-4 years, 5-11 years and greater than 12 years groups. Excellent tool especially in centers that do not yet have EMRs. There is a paid option which is an upgrade that includes follow-up assessment for adjusting therapy.

Killer features:Interactive tool, based on NHLBI guidelines

Similar apps: AsthmaApps, AsthmaMD

This giant in its own right is one of the most authoritative sources of information about the management of pediatric infectious diseases and with the digital edition, is constantly updated with the latest evidence-based research and best practices. This AAP committee on Infectious Diseases with the CDC, the FDA, and other bodies created this book. This edition, the 28th, is published by Unbound Medicine and has very good navigation. Also one may save favorites in a folder. It deals with all aspects of the disease entity being discussed in a concise way. It has links to many tables and full-length articles online.

Killer features: Authoritative resource, excellent navigation

Similar apps: Red Book powered by Skyscape – $119.99

Breastfeeding Management 2-$1.99:

This tool which is anchored on solid evidence is an application developed by the renowned Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition to help the clinician identify, triage, and manage common breastfeeding problems in the first weeks of life. IT was free initially but has now been monetized with 5 additional calculators. It also includes information on medications as well as a link to LactMed, the comprehensive online resource from the National Library of Medicine. If you support or do not support breastfeeding, this is an app to get so that you can answer your patients’ questions and give good evidence-based advice about the modern practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

Killer features: Two feeding calculators, Weight loss calculator

Similar apps: None

Have I left out your favorite App? Are you a Medical or Nursing student? What Apps have worked for you? Leave a comment below.

This post was originally published here December 29, 2011


Saving money and repaying debt? –Yes they can happen together

Are you looking for a way to save money while repaying your credit card debts? No matter which option you choose to repay your debt burden, whether debt consolidation or debt management, continuing with the payments is very necessary to make the agreement continue. Both debt consolidation and debt management provide solutions to credit card debt and they require you to make a single monthly payment to the program so that these can be disbursed among your creditors. Though the aforementioned debt relief options can help you repay credit card debt with ease, you have to make the payments on time to avoid a hit on your credit score. Here are some steps that you may take in order to save money while repaying debts.

  • Follow a strict budget: A budget is one of the main tools that forces a person to remain on the right track with his finances and if you’re someone who isn’t following a budget, you’re perhaps making a blunder. Craft a frugal budget that eliminates all unnecessary things that you can do without. Devote your hard-earned dollars to getting the things that you need and not to get those that you want. Determine the difference between needs and wants so that you can take the right decision.
  • Save enough money vigorously: No one can get back a grip on their finances without saving enough money. Irrespective of the amount that you make in a month, you should save at least 10% and stash the money in a savings account. If you choose to save in a high yield savings account, you can make the money beget money through the trickles of interest growth. If your money grows with time, you can utilize it while repaying your debts.
  • Cut short the usage of credit cards: While you’re going through a debt consolidation or a debt management program, you also have to manage your personal finances so that you can make the monthly payments on time. If you fail to pay the money on time, the entire process will be discontinued and you have to start afresh again. Moreover, if you keep on incurring huge amounts on your credit cards, you can’t repay the debt through the program. Cut your cards and use cash instead.

Therefore, if you’re looking for some solutions to credit card debt, you have to first manage your money and then take help of a professional company. Follow the steps mentioned above so that you can easily get back on.

This guest post was originally published here on 12/5/2011