The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is to the medical world what the Wall Street Journal is to the business world. The Journal is often considered the “standard”, and they have now released an iPhone app for the content on their website and journal. The app is called “NEJM This Week”, is free to download, and for a limited time you can access all the content for free – so download it as soon as you get a chance.
On initial impressions, this app provides a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips – but we did have some issues with the app that will be discussed later.
With the New England Journal of Medicine App you can access four main types of content: recent articles, images, audio, and video. The audio provided is in the form of weekly literature summaries, along with audio versions of four full Clinical Practice articles. For the clinical practice articles, you are presented a case and and then walked through the guidelines and steps required.
There are five “how to” NEJM videos: LP, chest tube insertion, A-line insertion, performing a paracentesis, and then BP measurement. Most medical professionals have seen these videos already at some point in their training. They are in the same old school quality – but still useful.
Now for the main gripes: Why isn’t this on the iPad as well?! That’s where reading medical literature and viewing pictures is a great experience – on the big screen! The iPhone is a great medium for the content, but with popularity of the iPad, one would assume the NEJM would have come out with an iPad version of the app as well.
Our second issue, from the description of the app on iTunes and the name, only content that is 7 days old will be available through the app. We’re hoping this is expanded later, but it’s doubtful from the name of the app. It would be great to have the ability to access the archives of the New England Journal of Medicine using this app – especially since you have access to the archives on the desktop experience.
Another question we have is the ability to use a proxy server to access the app. Obviously, the ability to access content for free is only being offered for a limited time, and soon there will be a login screen on the app – but what about those of us who access the NEJM off site through our academic affiliations? It seems as if we’d be left hanging. Hopefully there is a workaround around this issue.
Overall, the NEJM iphone app is nicely done, but without an iPad version and full access to the archives, it leaves us wanting more. We’re also hoping to see more medical journals take the leap and make applications for the iPhone, Android, and Palm platforms. As more medical professionals get smart phones, providing another medium to access literature seems only nature.