MedPage Today’s motto is, “Putting Breaking Medical News Into Practice”.  I’ve been a fan of the website, medpagetoday.com for a few years now because they provide great medical commentary in a short, concise manner.  I call it “high-yield” reading.  Their articles often highlight key papers from the New England Journal or other reputed journals.  Another reason I’m a fan is because of their partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to provide Continuing Medical Education(CME).  A partnership with a well respected academic institution definitely gives me greater respect for their articles.

All the content from their website has now been brought to the iPhone platform, and the app is free!  Although the application was released awhile back, it was recently updated with some nice additions.  In this review of the MedPage Today Mobile App I’ll cover how to best utilize the features this free application provides.

When you open up the application you’re asked to register, although you don’t need to provide any personal identifying information if you don’t want to, just your specialty and what type of topics you’re interested in.  In the settings menu you can change your specialty information and topics of interest.  You can also set up the twitter client you want to use if you plan on tweeting stories you read through the application.

Per your specialty and topics of interest, you’re shown different categories, such as Cardiovascular, Heme/Onc, etc.  After selecting a particular specialty, you’re presented with the latest related articles.  These articles deliver information through video, audio, or text.  Almost all the articles contain CME credit opportunities.  After reading, hearing, or viewing the information in an article, you can take a post test at the end to get CME credit.

What I liked:
  • Ability to get CME credit in the palm of your hand
  • You can tweet and e-mail the article your just read
  • Once you load articles they are saved on your device and you can access them in “off-line” mode.
  • One of my favorite categories is the default “Latest News” category.  Often this section correlates with the front page of MedPageToday.  It’s basically akin to CNN headlines made for healthcare providers
  • Nice user interface
  • Don’t need to register with username or password if you only want to read the articles

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What I didn’t like so much:

I like to listen to the videos and audio when I have my iPhone hooked up to my car.  When the phone goes into sleep mode the audio and video stop, and the same thing happens when I click the hold button.  Hopefully this is a bug that will be worked out in the next edition.

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What I’d like to see in future updates:
  • more access to all the information on the website.  I find a lot of the commentary interesting, and instead of only one default category, “latest news”, it would be nice to add more specific categories of news and commentary.
  • When you want to take the post test for CME credit you are linked to safari.  It would be nice to have the ability to take the test within the application.
  • Ability to Bookmark your favorite articles
  • Ability to share articles via Facebook.

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Conclusion:

The ability to attain CME credits from the palm of your hand is definitely a huge service this application provides, but I feel the ability to get current medical news is just as beneficial.  Even if you aren’t interested in getting CME credits, the CME articles are extremely informative and concise. You can read and listen to them on the go in order to stay up to date with hot button topics related to medicine.  The app is useful for not only providers, but medical students and residents as well and would definitely be helpful in the wards when getting grilled by attendings on updated medical guidelines.

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In the future, I’d love to see this application expand even more to include all the rich content included on the MedPage Today website, but overall, this is a great medical application and a must have for healthcare providers and students.

Also, MedPage Today has another app, CME store[iTunes Link], that bundles together CME articles related specifically to your specialty.  We’re working on a review of this app and will release it soon.

[itunes]

[website]

Update:

There actually is a save/bookmark button, contrary to what I said above.  My apologies on the oversight and thanks to the MedPage Today team for catching this.