Purpose of App Review
To explore the Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures app’s effectiveness in teaching dermatology
Digital medical textbooks are still a relatively new concept. As such, there have been many growing pains, with some textbooks making a smooth jump to the digital age, while others stumble during the process.
Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures–a universial iOS app based on Elsevier’s Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures in Office Practice 2012–attempts to make this transition, but will a full-sized textbook fit well in the mobile clinical environment?
Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures is a very beautiful app. The main screen immediately lists all the chapters for easy navigation. Each chapter contains a combination of text, pictures, photographs, tables, diagrams and videos that clearly illustrate key concepts. Photographs are shown in the text as well as at the top, and clicking on one will enlarge it.
Narrated videos can also be accessed from the home screen, or in each individual chapter. These videos greatly enrich the learning experience by showing exactly how procedures are actually performed-a huge advantage over textbooks which require placing a disc into a computer or going online in order to see videos.
Fitting a whole book of text into a small screen is no easy task, but luckily the app provides tools to simplify this. Chapters are divided into sections for quick jumping between topics. Users are also able to search for keywords in the entire app, bookmark, as well as take notes on each chapter.
It does feel, though, like the iPhone was the main version, judging by the over-sized buttons at the bottom of the iPad screen. This quibble is mainly cosmetic as the iPad version also runs well.
The Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures app is beautifully done. Though the source material is a textbook, it fits snugly in app form. I loved having it in my pocket during my dermatology rotation, pulling it out to quickly read between patients. The organization and app navigation tools greatly contribute to the smooth experience, and I enjoyed using it as a pocket reference as well as a full textbook.
At $139.99, it is priced according to the textbook. The only reservations I might have about the app is that at 1.0 GB, it does have a rather large memory footprint, which could make it difficult for the space-conscious to leave it on their device in perpetuity, unlike textbooks which you can always have on a shelf.
There have been instances in the past where textbooks are simply cut and pasted into app form, without taking advantage of the iPhone/iPad’s robust multimedia capabilities. Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures avoids this mistake, and as a result, has a very complete package that makes a compelling case for forgoing the paper textbook completely.
- Beautifully laid out
- Fully utilizes multimedia capabilities of mobile devices
- Large memory footprint
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Dermatologists, dermatology residents, family physicians, family medicine residents, plastic surgeons, plastic surgery residents, medical students
- Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures App transitions beautifully from its paper form, utilizing the iPhone/iPad’s multimedia capabilities to make a compelling case for the digital textbook.
Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 4.25 stars
User Interface: 5 – Navigation is efficient
Multimedia usage: 5 – Greatly enriched by photos and videos
Price: 3 – Priced according to the paper text
Real world applicability: 4 – Excellent for reading in snippets or for longer sessions
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.