Tutorial showing Physicians how to set up their iPad for medical use

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Iltifat Husain MD contributed to this piece 

One of the most popular mobile devices amongst physicians is the iPad due to its powerful feature set combined with a great form factor.

This tutorial will show you how to optimize your iPad for medical use from the moment you first take it out of the box.

This following video will assume you have the following basic things set up:

  • You have an Apple account
  • You have completed the initial setup (as shown in the screenshot)
  • You are connected to a Wi-Fi network (as we are going to download a number of apps)
Introduction and basic apps to get the most out of your new iPad

To recap:

@ the 1 minute mark — DropBox and Evernote
@ the 5 minute mark — medical specific apps
@ the 7 minute mark — News Stand app — for your medical journals
@ the 9 minute mark — PDF annotation and app to convert medical literature to PDF files
@ the 13 minute mark — creating home page icons for your favorite medical sites

  • Download the following apps (reference our top 10 iPad medical apps list)
    • Evernote
    • Dropbox
    • Medscape
    • PDF Converter
    • Papers
    • Epocrates
    • DrawMD
  • Browse for relevant journals and download eg BMJ
  • Adjust default settings
    • Add your email account
    • Turn off photostream
    • Adjust action of side switch
  • Setup a homescreen icon for easy access to PubMed and iMedicalApps

Overall, it is worth taking the time to set your new iPad up so that you can get the most out of it. The apps discussed here are a great place to start from and there are some truly fantastic medical apps out there to enhance your productivity. If you have any problems or questions then drop us a line in the comments.

Discussion ( 6 comments ) Post a Comment
  • Very nice tutorial. How did you capture the iPad screen to make the video? I have been looking for a way to capture the video out on my iPad to make modules, but have not found a way short of using a video camera.

  • hi,
    I am looking for any chm reader on mac from which I can annotate chm formatted medical textbooks , or clip texts from chm books to a notebook synced with Evernote with one-keyboard-shortcut. I guess that will be best use of evernote for medical students otherwise its all a waste for me to read textbooks from Mac or iPad if I cant take parallel textclips to make my notes on the go.

  • Hey guys,

    First, thanks for the awesome website. I’m a third year med student at UC Davis going into EM. I’ve been spending a lot of time here since I purchased my first iPad two weeks ago, the iPad mini.

    Here’s my main problem: a number of the medical apps you recommend here are not appearing on my iPad after I download them from iTunes. In the iTunes (macbook) application under “library” – “apps” which lists all the apps I’ve downloaded they appear in the bottom section “iPhone and iPod touch apps.” This is very strange to me as I thought *all* iphone/ipod apps were by definition compatible with the iPad even if they aren’t specifically designed for it. This includes apps like “CPR game,” “Resuscitation!”, and the EMRA apps like “EM Rashes.” The apps that have successfully make it to my iPad are ones which on their iTunes preview webpage state directly below the app image “This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad” such as the ACEP app (itunes.apple.com/us/app/acep/id545869485?mt=8). The apps that fail don’t have that text although they do say, a few inches lower, “Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.” Is this the default text and it’s true that, according to iTunes, some apps are only available for iPhone/iPod? Or is there I setting I need to change? Thank you in advance for any advice. (If this is confusing I can email screenshots of iTunes depicting the problem.)


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