Neurology iPocketcards app helps empty your white coat and serves as a neurology reference on rounds

Compatibility: iPhone (3GS and later), iPad, iPod Touch (3rd generation and later)
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Purpose of the App Review:
1) Can I rely on Neurology iPocketcards to provide most of the clinically high yield Neurology information for me?
2) Will this app help me describe pathology and physiology to my patients?

Introduction:

Sometimes, with all of the stuff I’m expected to carry in my white coat, I feel like a pack mule.

I am expected to have my stethoscope, reflex hammer, pen light, various objects to test Cranial Nerves and many pocketbooks.

The ipocketcard app series is designed to help medical professionals ditch the pocketbooks and the developers hope to replace it with a quick reference app. The Neurology ipocketcard app covers subjects including: dermatomes, spinal nerve root innervations (motor and sensory), cranial nerves, and neuroanatomy.

User Interface:

Neurology iPocketcards is a simple app. The home page devotes a lot of real estate to advertisements and requests for feedback (only 1/3 of the home page is devoted to content specific to the app). When the user advances through, they can choose to use the interactive tools or go through the table of contents.

On the bottom of the screen, there is a navigation banner with many icons on it. This banner is always present on every page of the app. It includes a search tool, a note taking feature, and a “go back” and “go forward” icon (like on an internet browser). Though this banner is helpful, the icons are all very small.

While playing with the app, I mis-clicked the icons while trying to navigate through the app several times.

There are currently only two interactive features: the SLUMS assessment and Glascow Coma Scale calculators. Though these features are accurate, easy to use and very useful, there are only two of them. I hope the app developers plan on adding more calculators because this was one of the few features I found to add value to the app.

The table of contents is more comprehensive (it is a bit redundant because the table of contents includes the interactive features within it).

As the user advances through the table of contents, they may choose a wide variety of pocket cards. I would say the heavy majority of clinically high yield Neurology information is included in this app. There are many high yield tables that are helpful for rounds or for just learning Neurology.

 

 

Some of the diagrams included are fantastic: the images, labels and structures are pretty clear and are great for teaching patients. For example, the dermatome diagram is quite useful. In fact, I used the dermatome diagram on this app to explain radicular pain to one of my patients.

Other diagrams fail to be helpful because they are so cluttered. Even with zooming in/out, some diagrams are still difficult to read and some words are not discernable.

I understand that the app is supposed to be in a “pocketcard” format where a lot of information is included efficiently on one page. However, I feel many of the tables and diagrams were not very visually appealing because it is so cramped on a small iPhone screen (maybe it’ll look better on the iPhone 5). The diagrams are much better visualized on the iPad, which I appreciated, but the diagrams still had quite a lot of small print on each diagram.

Price:

  • Free

Likes:

  • Intuitive navigation
  • Diagrams are great for teaching patients, students, colleagues and yourself
  • Cards provides clinically high yield information
  • Interactive Features that include SLUMS and Glascow Coma Scale calculators

Dislikes:

  • Home page is very busy and needs reorganization
  • Toolbar icons are very small (easy to misclick)
  • Only one third of home page has something to do with the app – one third is ads, and one third is asking for user feedback
  • Many of the pocketcards cramp a lot of information in a small space, forcing the user to zoom in and out constantly

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • Neurologists
  • Physiatrists
  • Pain Management Physicians
  • EM physicians
  • Physical Therapists
  • IM/FM physicians

Conclusion:

Neurology iPocketcards is a free app that provides the user diagrams, tables and interactive calculators for Neurology. The information provided in the app is all accurate and helpful; however, the way in which it is delivered leaves something to be desired. Some of the diagrams are very helpful for learning and teaching, but many of them are too cluttered.

Though there are certain features and pocketcard pages I did not care for, overall, this app does deliver accurate, clinically relevant information for free. Hopefully, the developers will work to add new interactive calculators and reconfigure some of the diagrams in which case this app will be fantastic.

iTunes Link

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Rating:

  1. Overall: 3.25/5 Stars
  2. User Interface: 3/5 stars. Many of the pages were busy, the navigation banner on the bottom was more annoying than helpful, and the diagrams and tables were not very visually appealing due to the high volume of information on each page.
  3. Multimedia Coverage: 2/5. I liked the interactive calculators but there are only two. Beyond the interactive features, it’s a very simple app.
  4. Price: 5/5 Stars.  This app is currently free.
  5. Real World Applicability: 3/5 Stars. The only part of this app that would be used on a daily basis would be the interactive features. Otherwise, it has great information, but it’s not information that needs to be accessed on a daily basis. Also, many of the diagrams are too cluttered to use for teaching/counseling patients.

Author:

Tejas Ozarkar

5 Responses to Neurology iPocketcards app helps empty your white coat and serves as a neurology reference on rounds

  1. Ashraf Coovadia October 28, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    This looks like an excellent app. Unfortunately its not in the South African App store. Can anyone possibly assist me by providing me with the developers contact details so I can write to them to request this OR ALTERNATIVELY is anyone able to request this if they know the developers.

    Many thanks
    Professor Ashraf Coovadia (Paediatrics)

    • Tejas Ozarkar October 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      Dr. Coovadia,

      The Pocketcard series for iOS is developed by Borm Bruckmeier Publishing. According to their website, this is their contact information:

      111 1/2 Eucalyptus Dr.
      El Segundo, CA 90245

      Phone: 310.414.8300
      Fax: 310.414.8301

      service@media4u.com
      http://www.media4u.com

      I hope they release this app on the South African App Store!

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