By: Iltifat Husain MD & Satish Misra MD
It’s been more than two years since the editors at iMedicalApps went through the medical apps available for iOS and found the best medical apps Physicians and other healthcare providers should download onto their iPhone. During that time the face of the App Store has changed, along with the phone itself.
Since our original list, there have been a tremendous number of new apps Physicians should consider downloading — many that we use on a daily basis.
One of the unique things about our search was the discovery of essential “non-medical” apps for healthcare professionals. These apps are not in the medical category and are used by the general public for other purposes — but when configured appropriately, become essential tools for Physicians.
This list required a tremendous amount of research and time and we hope you enjoy some of the unique applications we found — some of these apps might help you save a life. Remember to register on our site (free) to view the accompanying videos we made to give you an idea of how best to use the apps.
The following list was compiled by the Editor-in-chief and Managing Editors of iMedicalApps. The editors individually searched through the iTunes store (desktop) and App Store (iOS) in the free medical apps category and compiled their top medical apps list. Key features looked at were quality of content, real world applicability, and user interface. After individual lists were compiled by the editors, the lists were compared and key categories were made to help delineate the medical apps functionality.
The following categories were selected:
- “Non-medical” apps critical for health care providers
- Drug Reference
- Medical Literature Curation apps
- Medical Calculators
- Medical Language translators
- General Reference
- Patient Education
- Specialty Education
- Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- Social Networks
The remaining editors at iMedicalApps were able to view the compiled lists in their entirety, and were given the opportunity to add other apps. The Editor in Chief and Managing Editor only included apps unanimously agreed upon.
“Non-Medical” Apps critical for health care providers
Editors at iMedicalApps are often asked by our peers to recommend key medical apps. To the surprise of many, the “medical” apps we use the most aren’t in the medical category of the App Store. Out of the list of medical apps we recommend to our Doctor friends, the following three are usually the apps we hear the most positive feedback about.
Usually the thanks is conveyed in the following way, “I can’t believe I didn’t know about the ____ app sooner”. In the blank, insert one of the following apps: Feedly, Dropbox, or Evernote.
Feedly started to get a lot of buzz in the tech world with the demise of Google Reader. It’s been seen as a replacement to Reader now, but does so much more. The application presents website articles to you in an easy, and aesthetically pleasing manner.
Why does this matter?
With more medical professionals starting blogs and teaching online, there is a growing community of Physician writers who write great academic and teaching pearls. We highlighted how this was being done in Emergency Medicine, and other specialties are doing this as well.
As the accompanying video shows, you can set up Feedly to pull in all the key medical websites or medical blogs you follow, and they are presented in a palatable manner — all in one place.
Evernote is an application that is utilized extensively by the editors at iMedicalApps. It is a tremendous resource for storing PDF files, and more importantly — keeping track of all of your medical notes. The accompanying video shows how great the app is at storing your notes. You can even add other Evernote users’ medical notes, as shown in the video.
One of the unique ways you can use Evernote is to take pictures of handouts. This is great for Grand Rounds or for storing workflow algorithms — such as new Trauma protocols the hospital is implementing. Basically, Evernote prevents you from ever having to carry paper documents.
Recently, Evernote’s functionality increased tremendously when they added more comprehensive PDF reading ability.
iMA prior review: How medical professionals can use Evernote to improve productivity and learning
While Evernote is the application you want to store your medical notes, Dropbox is the one you want to store your medical files. These range from your Grand Rounds presentations to medical literature PDF files. As with Evernote above, Dropbox recently upgraded their PDF viewing ability, so you don’t have to rely as much on other PDF reading apps.
The suggested usage of these “non-medical” apps is the following:
- Feedly for your medical websites and blogs
- Evernote for your medical notes, workflow algorithms
- Dropbox for your medical files (PDFs, powerpoints)
Now if only Evernote and Dropbox would include PDF annotation functionality — that would be a game changer.