by: Aaron Stringfield, PharmD Candidate
If you really want to do something well, contrary to popular opinion, it’s going to take time. For twenty-seven years, Sigler Drug Cards, by JD Sigler Publishing, have been a favorite of health care students. They were created by Jeffrey Sigler Rph, and are currently written and edited by pharmacists. The mHealth boom is upon us though, and information delivery methods are undergoing rapid overhaul. Sigler Drug Cards are no different, now having made the jump from print, to mobile application format.
The top three-hundred most frequently prescribed drugs, according to SFI research, comprise the list of medications available for review. Users not only have access to well referenced, thoroughly written monographic literature, but also may use the app to view chemical structures and images of pills. The interface is, clean and, simplistic, with an engineered vibe. There is nothing gimmicky or contrived about the app’s content, and functionality, are front and center, the main focus, and in my opinion, that’s perfectly fine. Students of pharmacology need to be able to trust their study tools, and Siglers, in this regard, has an ace up their sleeve, having already proven themselves, with their printed flash cards, to be a trustworthy educational resource.
With so many drugs to pour over, a must have user feature is a well designed search function, a standout component of the Sigler app. You may use it to look up individual drugs, by name, or search relevant information by plugging in key words. Typing in the word anxiety, for example, brings up all of the medications in the app, with anxiety in their monograph. It also, organizes drugs categorically, by weighted importance, offering a preview of where within the mono-graphical section the word is found.
Tapping the browse tab presents medications, separated by drug class. It also gives the user various options for sorting, while bookmarking, and allows for the creation of customizable lists, a useful option for the student that wants to personalize their study focus.
Sigler’s Drug Card app gives the user a broad overview of information to study. There is a nice balance to the app, with nine categories to sift through, that includes on top of mono-graphical text; actual medication images, a note taking feature, chemical structures, and patient consultation suggestions.
The reference tab, gives the user access to informational pdf documents, such as, normal lab values, brand and generic names, and important legal content. This is a nice addition to the core material of the app, but the images are hard to read and clunky
An exciting component, that is soon to be included as an update for the app, is a QUIZ FEATURE (no given time frame yet), a user interface function that will give the drug cards an interactive touch. Also, I contacted the publisher and, rest assured, they confirmed that those who have already purchased the app will be able to download the update for free.
- The cost is $29.99, and the app is available exclusively for download to the iphone, ipad, or ipod touch.
- Amount of drugs available for study (#300)
- Search function, that is capable of smartly locating and simultaneously categorizing information based on provided key word.
- Browse feature that organizes drugs by class as opposed to body system
- Depth of information (adequate for students and or clinicians)
- Transparency of references used to create the app [see image with listed references at top]
- Images of chemical structures
- Images of various dosage forms of drugs
- Bookmarking option for customizable study lists
- Pt consultation tips
- Future Quiz Section/interactive learning experience
- Intuitive user interface, clean, with an engineered feel
- Reference section [i.e., legal content, normal lab values, brand/generic names]
- The information is great! The PDF documents are just hard to read and are clunky
- If you’re looking for a portable way to study the top 300 most frequently prescribed drugs and are the type of person who is more likely to have a smart phone with you than a pile of flash cards, the Sigler’s app may be for you.
- The informational depth is adequate enough for utilization as a quick reference in the professional setting and could be a valuable tool for students and clinicians alike.
- It’s an expensive download ($29.99), but is priced within range of other traditional pharmacology flash cards, i.e. this list of popular drug cards found on Amazon.com: Brenners Flash Cards($29.99), Lange Flash Cards ($30.23), Range & Dales Flash Cards ($37.00), Pharm Phlash!: Pharmacology Flash Cards ($21.56).