By: Philip Xiu (Medical Student at the University Of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine)
SkyScape undeniably puts a huge amount of resources in the fingertips of medical professionals with the ability to use their BlackBerry to download free modules or more powerful pay for modules.
You are required to register a Skyscape account before the apps can be used; but once registered the ability to personalize the application with these add-ons is extremely powerful.
Free resources are available for download once you’ve got things up and running, including RxDrugs (contains information on different medications), Outlines in Clinical Medicine (OCM) and Archimedes (a rather comprehensive medical calculator).
However the others on offer appear to be rather specialized for the medical student or ordinary resident. Selecting the module that you wish to load is extremely easy, and in the following pictures I’ll review the Outlines in Clinical Medicine module.
You are presented with an index which is searchable. Alternatively, from the options menu, the module’s home screen can present other indices: therapeutic Category index, Medication Index, Calculator index.
To provide an example of the content of OCM, clicking on a topic from the aforementioned topic list such as Cardiomyopathy, opens a new screen of useful information on the selected topic. Here, the “Outlines” section provides a list of shortcuts to the “Information” section.
The coverage of clinical detail is comprehensive and referenced accurately. Indeed, I have been using this whilst I had a free minute or two in between patients to revise from for my exams.
The medications section I found especially useful. You can select the drug that is used to treat the condition, and the link provided will go to the specific section that mentions it. This is extremely powerful and logical way to display the medication and its effects.
Skyscape is unstable, with random crashes occurring on a regular basis. This happens especially when the extremely slow update is finishing. You might have to spend many a wasted hour in an attempt to download updates to resources that are provided.
The OCM module supplies rapid access to a comprehensive section of regularly updated medical information. It is user friendly for over-worked residents and intuitive displays makes it one of my favorite medical reference apps for the BlackBerry.
Link: Skyscape on Blackberry
Philip Xiu is currently finishing medical school at the University Of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine (UK). Next year he will begin his Academic Foundation internship in Cardiology/Clinical Pharmacology at UCLH (Univeristy College London Hospitals).