Great Apps for Healthcare Providers

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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

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