A study by the IMS Health names Wikipedia as the “single leading source” of health care information for both patients and health care professionals. Not so surprising that our patients are using it, but considering that the information is often wrong, physicians can do better. One of the best ways to look up accurate info quickly is by downloading one of the top apps so you’ve got the info literally at your fingertips. Most healthcare providers have a personal handheld device, and according to Physician News, nine out of 10 of docs use them daily in practice. The sheer volume of apps can be overwhelming, with over 44,000+ choices. Here are some of the best apps for docs:
Isabel is a pretty rare app in that it’s been favorably reviewed in medical journals. It’s actually so well respected that hospitals are buying versions for their own networks for physicians and patient use. Available for iOS and Android, it’s a diagnosis assistance app that allows physicians to double check their diagnoses. Its database includes over 6,000 disease symptoms and presentations, plus the ability to refine results by gender, age, and even travel history. It requires online access, and there’s a small monthly fee for use.
Epocrates is the gold standard app, in that it is one of the most popular ones for doctors. Epocrates in available for iOS and Android, and the free version includes a pill identifier, drug interactions and information, and a medical calculator. If you’re willing to pony up some bucks, the $200 version includes the medical dictionary and the databases and guidelines for the complete ICD-9 and CPT reference.
Medscape is one of the most downloaded apps for healthcare professionals. It can be used to retrieve news articles from 34 different health specialties. Medscape offers drug reference and interaction guides, clinical reference with diseases, conditions, and procedures, plus medical news and CME.
Dictation on the Go
There are plenty of dictation apps out there, and you will probably have to test out several before you find the one that works for you. Voxie Pro Recorder has lots of bells and whistles, with four audio quality settings. It’s just $1.99 and only available for iPhone currently. Try out a couple others to find the one that is both easy to use and offers the best quality, including DictateOnTheGo, myDictationPro, AudioWav MobileMic, and Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Admittedly, Doximity is technically more of a social network for docs than it is a medical app, but even docs need to blow off steam every now and then. It’s free to join, and they claim 40% of U.S. docs are members. It’s available for iOS and Androids, and it lets you follow news and trends in your specialty, send HIPAA secure faxes from your phone, and commiserate and communicate with other doctors on the network. Each specialty has its own apps as well. Air Strip Cardiology is one the best for cardiologists and does some pretty fancy footwork in analyzing 10-second EKG feeds. In orthopedics, the AO Surgery Reference app describes the complete surgical management process for all fractures from diagnosis to aftercare. Keep looking, and you will find the apps that work best for you and your practice.