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As the Editor-in-chief of iMedicalApps, I have witnessed first hand the transformation of the iPad in medicine.
When the first iPad was launched more than two years ago, I did an in depth review from a medical perspective, and concluded the iPad was not a slam dunk for medical professionals. Rather, I felt the iPad’s place in medicine would largely depend on the quality of medical apps available:
“Does this mean medical professionals should go out and get the iPad…Not necessarily…The iPad is only as good as the App Store”
The quality of the medical section of the App Store for the iPad has cemented its place in medicine. Arguments can be made about getting an iPhone verse an Android device, but there is no tablet that rivals the iPad’s medical section for healthcare professionals. And because of this, the iPad has proliferated in medicine and with physicians. There are a series of studies backing up the rapid proliferation of the iPad in medicine. For those of us in medicine, we see anecdotal examples of this everyday in the hospital and clinic setting.
With this analogous proliferation of iPad medical apps, sorting through them can be an arduous undertaking, mainly because many of the iPad apps in the “medical” section are not for medical professionals and miscategorized.
The editors at iMedicalApps have gone through the free medical apps available for the iPad, and we have chosen 10 free medical apps that healthcare professionals can utilize. These apps range from simple drug reference apps to 3D virtual reality medical apps that make use of the iPads accelerometer. Unlike many other so called “top-10″ lists, this list is not based on the most downloaded apps in the medical section of the App Store.
- Over 2,500 free medical apps were browsed using iTunes.
- Apps were selected for potential inclusion based on their usability as deemed by the Editorial Staff at iMedicalApps.
- iPad apps that have already been reviewed on iMedicalApps were looked at closely for inclusion on this list.
- Over 300 medical app reviews have been written or edited by the Editors at iMedicalApps, and based on this vast experience apps were ranked according to voting by the editorial staff.
- Apps that require in-app purchases.
- Apps with “Lite” versions.
- Apps that require subscriptions to use. This did not apply to Journal apps that provide partially free content.
At the time of publication, the apps mentioned in this compilation piece are free, this status can always change based on the developers of the apps.
Before proceeding to our top 10 list, we encourage our readers to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We regularly announce app and product giveaways through these mediums, as well as providing breaking news and updates on key medical apps.
- The following list contains videos demonstrating the apps in action, showing how the apps can best be utilized in the medical setting. In order to view these demonstrations, you have to be a registered iMedicalApps member. We encourage you to become a member — it’s free and takes less than 30 seconds to do.
Once again, Medscape is the top free iPad medical app. The Medscape app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times in the App Store, and with good reason.
The App’s Drug Reference section is arguably the best in the App Store. Many of our readers have commented how this app has replaced the prior “go-to” drug reference app — Epocrates.
Along with drug reference information, the app contains an Interaction checker, News, and CME education.
Unlike many other medical apps that are merely expanded versions of their iPhone counterparts, Medscape has done a great job of building their app specifically for the iPad. This is evident with the comprehensive search functioning, allowing you to quickly look up a drug or how to do a lumbar puncture with lightening speed.
The app also enables users to have offline access to its contents. Crucial for providers who don’t have a wireless plan for their iPad or for those who don’t have a dedicated Wi-Fi connection to count on.
One of the more subtle surprises of this app is the ability to look up herbal drugs — something you’ll be pressed to find with any other free drug reference tool.