Although pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is an admittedly narrow topic, we take a look at the CAP Guideline App today because of how it was developed — by a medical student in conjunction with a teaching hospital.
While many of the apps we review are created by established developers and/or groups of physicians, this app is interesting in that a medical student took the initiative to create it and enlisted the help of a hospital in its development, perhaps revealing a model for enthusiastic medical students to contribute to the growing medical app landscape.
Josh Herigon, a second-year medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, with a degree from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a background of health services research, created the free CAP Guideline App. (read more)
Many medical professionals are familiar with the name Dragon Medical for computerized transcription. Small practices use the desktop software to dictate directly into EHRs while versions are available for specialties, such as Radiology. In fact, versions are available for for many non-health industries as well.
Over many years, the quality of the computerized transcription has improved to the point where many practices have easily been able to give up more expensive human transcription services. At the same time, Dragon – since renamed Nuance, has grown in size and scope, buying or overwhelming much of its competition.
But medicine is mobile and the ability to dictate without being tethered to a desktop computer and microphone or needing a specialized digital recorder remains a real imperative for many docs.Thus, when Nuance released Dragon Dictation, a free app for general (non-medical) mobile dictation in December 2009, many doctors took notice of its potential.
Now, Nuance has released Dragon Medical Mobile Recorder, an iPhone app that interfaces with their enterprise-class speech recognition engine eScription. It will no doubt become a favorite app for many doctors – but only for those lucky enough to be at an institution that subscribes to eScription, since there is currently no individual or small group option.
The app is a simple and easy to use front-end for dictation that allows the doctor to select the patient, document type and speak directly into the phone. Carriage controls allow recording to be paused, played back and overwritten. Once the dictation is complete, it can be sent over 3G or WiFi to the background transcription engine which then returns it to the iPhone for viewing.
By: David Ahn, MD and Iltifat Husain
Apple released a new installation of their iconic TV advertisements over the weekend with a new series for the iPad 2 entitled “We Believe.” Interestingly, the commercial places a surprisingly heavy emphasis on medical applications for the iPad. The spot features three apps that were not developed by Apple themselves, two of which are directly medical.
A shift in focus becomes immediately apparent when viewing the ad. Instead of the hip upbeat pop music, there’s a gentle piano melody playing in the background. Instead of showcasing the variety of apps like the original iPad TV ads (“iPad Is…”), they only focus on brief glimpses at several apps. The voiceover reads the following lines:
This is what we believe: technology alone is not enough. Faster, Thinner, Lighter… those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful… Even magical. That’s when you leap forward.
The first app shown in Air Strip Patient Monitoring — an FDA approved app that allows for real time vital sign monitoring. We’ve featured this app on iMedicalApps before, and previously posted live demos that the AirStrip company has given us. The second app shown is the radiology viewing app Mobile MIM, the first FDA approved mobile radiology imaging app .
Apple prominently featuring medical apps in their latest commercial continues to show how iPads are being used for general medical use, which was earlier mentioned directly by Steve Jobs at the iPad 2 announcement. The iPad 2 announcement featured medical uses of the iPad prominently, and with two out of the three “non-Apple” apps being medical ones in this commercial, Apple continues to highlight medicine’s mobile role. Continue on for the embedded video commercial. (read more)
Everyone’s favorite resource — Wikipedia — helps define the Bayesian interpretation of probability: “To evaluate the probability of a hypothesis, the Bayesian probabilist specifies some prior probability, which is then updated in the light of new relevant data.”
Applied in the medical setting, Bayesian reasoning involves the clinician developing a pre-test probability for the likelihood of a diagnosis, and only then ordering a test whose quality is measured in terms of sensitivity and specificity.
The post-test probability of the diagnosis is thus dependent on these two factors– the pre-test probability and the quality of the diagnostic test.
Unfortunately, many clinicians — myself included — do not often think about diagnosis in this Bayesian manner when practicing medicine and ordering diagnostic tests. Read below the jump to learn more about this app that promises to facilitate the use of Bayesian reasoning in medicine.
We’ll go through sample diagnostic situations, showing how this app has the potential to change the way you order diagnostic tests for your patients. (read more)
The medical students at the University of Minnesota’s Duluth campus have all been given iPads to help with medical education — adding to the growing list of medical schools implementing “iPad medical curriculums”. Medical schools we’ve already covered that have given their students iPads are Stanford, University of California-Irvine, and the University of Central Florida.
Why the iPad?
The University of Minnesota’s Duluth medical school had received a $2.3 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant to fund efforts to increase the use of electronic learning in the medical school curriculum.
They targeted the iPad as a tool that could be used for electronic learning due to the numerous applications on the iOS platform and the portability it offers. Each of the 62 first-year students and faculty members have been given the iPad — and five subsequent medical school classes will receive the iPad as part of the study.
The University of Minnesota’s implementation of the iPad continues to show the large foothold iOS devices have in the medical ecosystem. And the reasons given by Minnesota’s medical school for choosing the iPad fall in line with other medical schools we have profiled, such as the significant number of applications — ranging from productivity to medical apps.
The iPad’s significant number of apps is something no other tablet device or platform is close to replicating — with Google’s Honeycomb OS still being far behind — and shows why Apple’s iPad will continue to enamor the medical community for the near future.
Link to video of iPads being used by the medical students at UMD
Source: WDIO local news, Minnesota Medicine
By William Tobia, M.S., M.B.A
Clinical trials are an integral part of the drug development pipeline, with profound effects for our sickest patients. Anyone who has been involved in clinical trials and had to attract potential subjects for participation knows how difficult this process can be. And patients, particularly those with major illnesses, often struggle to find the trials that could offer lifesaving treatment. Given the integral role that mobile devices have played in helping patients and physicians find medical information, clinical trials seem like a natural extension.
Players in the clinical trials process are either considering this unique approach or have made the move already. However, the “FDA considers direct advertising for study subjects to be the start of the informed consent and subject selection process.” So how do recruiters using such apps strike a balance between providing enough information to make it attractive to the subject, without making it study-specific, thus requiring compliance with the regulations? In other words, how do researchers improve the process of trial discovery for patients without crossing into territory that requires the oversight of the FDA? Clinical Trials Mobile is one free app that tries to fill precisely that need, but its not clear whether it crosses into that potential treacherous territory.
For anyone interested in mobile health, the pace of new developments, partnerships, and innovations is, at best, dizzying.
For the busy healthcare professional, its nearly an impossible task to keep abreast of whats happening in this is rapidly growing field.
Our goal at iMedicalApps has always been to help our colleagues navigate this shifting landscape because we believe that mobile health technology is going to transform the way medicine is practiced.
In this weekly series, we will scour through the latest in the mobile health world and pick a few articles that we think are interesting and convey some important development. Be sure to let us know what you think by adding your comments to this post.
This week, we came across some interesting posts on a new mobile-device based system for medical translation services, an update on Mobile MIM in the regulatory world, and efforts by the pharmaceutical industry to leverage mobile technology. Check out the list here.
Epocrates foray into the electronic medical record ecosystem is getting closer to launch with the announcement that pilot trials of their EHR are occurring at physician practices. The web and mobile based electronic health record is aimed at solo and small physician group offices — targeting the ambulatory setting.
During HIMSS 2010 we spoke to Epocrates in great detail about their electronic health record. They gave iMedicalApps a glimpse of the EHR’s mobile functionality, stating the EHR will be integrated with the iPhone, and use features provided by the iOS platform, such as push notifications.
Incidentally, during HIMSS 2010, Nuance made a large announcement of their own. They announced three products for the iPhone: Dragon Medical Mobile Dictate, Dragon Medical Mobile SDK, and Dragon Medical Search (we reviewed Dragon Medical Search last year). We talked to Nuance about their mobile offerings, and their representatives gave us live demos of their products.
At that time, our senior editor, Felasfa Wodajo, made a very astute connection — In his article on Nuance last year, he stated it would be obvious for Epocrates to use Nuance for their EHR and mobile offerings. A year later, that’s exactly what Epocrates is announcing.
So why is this a game changer?
One of the beauties of mobile medical education is how quickly you are able to distribute multimedia content, especially if it’s free. This is due to the ubiquitous nature of certain platforms, such as iTunes, on every iOS device — over 120 million of them. These mobile devices have significantly lowered the barrier of entry for medical professionals wishing to reach millions of individuals.
A University of Alberta professor and surgeon, Dr. Jonathan White, decided to make 10 to 30 minute iTunes podcasts of his lecture material in order to reach his students at a different level. His medical students feel the free Podcasts are more captivating, and enable them to consume a greater amount of content when they are short on time:
“When you’re short on time, you have the podcast to rely on in order to get the bulk of information that you need to learn,” said medical student Todd Penny……The podcasts are less dry than reading out of a textbook,” he said. “You have someone talking to you as if you are in a lecture. They try to make it a little more interesting. They add music.”
Dr. White states he has reached 120,000 individual people since starting the podcasts in 2008 on iTunes. Whether those individuals are medical students or patients, he isn’t sure — but his content is aimed at students in the health care profession. (read more)
By: Philip Xiu (Medical Student at the University Of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine)
This review will cover the Epocrates Essentials app for the BlackBerry, costing $159/year, making it one of the most expensive medical apps for the BlackBerry. Due to the dominance of Epocrates in the mobile arena, my expectations were high.
I have been field testing this software for over one month, at the frontline, using it during ward rounds, during revision, and looking up reference values. Overall, Epocrates did not disappoint.
Epocrates Essentials is written by a panel of medical editors, with frequent reviews. Indeed some of the diagrams are taken from the British Medical Journal image bank. (read more)
By: Ankur Gupta, MS 1 and Iltifat Husain, MS 4
The American Medical Association (AMA) has a challenge for medical students, residents, and physicians. They’re calling it the “2011 AMA App Challenge”.
There are thousands of dollars at stake, along with a trip to New Orleans. Before you fret, the challenge doesn’t require you to actually create and develop an app from scratch — rather, the contest is about finding the best idea for a medical app.
There will be two grand prizes awarded, one for the best medical student, resident, or fellow’s idea, and the other for the best physician’s idea. Entries will be taken until June 30th of this year, with two grand prize winners each getting a $1000 American Express Card, a $1500 Apple Store gift card, and a trip for two to New Orleans, where the idea will be presented at the AMA meeting in November. (read more)
Last week, Amazon’s Android App Store went online. It may turn out to be a significant development for the Android app economy — especially for developers of medical apps made for Android phones and tablets.
At its launch, the Amazon Appstore will have less than 5,000 apps, a fraction of Google’s Android Marketplace. In fact, currently the major iOS and Android medical apps (Epocrates, Medscape, etc) are not yet available in the Amazon store. But this will no doubt grow over time. The pricing model is also slightly different from Google’s Android Marketplace, with Amazon paying developers 70% of the sale price of the app or 20% of the list price, whichever is greater, to allow for promotional pricing.
Almost at the same time that Amazon was announcing the launching of their app store, Google announced they were delaying release of the source code for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the version optimized to run on tablets.
The unmistakable e-commerce prowess of Amazon now driving its own Android app store has added fuel to the speculation that Amazon is planning its own Android tablet to replace the Kindle. Could Google be trying to reassert control over its own ecosystem by holding back the source code to Honeycomb ? While many were disappointed by this seeming reversal on an “open” platform, Andy Rubin, head of Google’s Android group, said the reason for the delay was simply related to the rush to ship the tablet version, saying “Android is an open-source project … We have not changed our strategy.”
The entry of Amazon into the Android app market makes sense – they are masters at distributing digital content – think of the Kindle and eBooks. So why get into the mobile app space now? (read more)