By: Rajat Kumar, MS3

HIV is a disease that presents many challenges to physicians.  The spectrum of new complications and novel therapies that are related to HIV can be difficult to tackle, even for the expert clinician well versed in managing HIV patients.

The Johns Hopkins HIV Guide from Unbound Medicine presents an all-inclusive application that attempts to serve as a one-stop resource for everything related to HIV.

Available for many platforms (including Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows), the application presents the user with up-to-date information regarding diseases and complications related to HIV and also provides evidence-based treatment strategies for management. However, it may not be for everyone.

Accessed through the Johns Hopkins POC-IT Guides app for the iPhone, the user is presented with a home screen, which is deceptively simple and plain.

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Perusing the guide quickly shows just how in-depth the topics presented are.

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Each topic includes information such as Pathogens, Clinical, Diagnosis, Treatment, and also provides a list of references.

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The top-right corner of the screen presents the user with an easy navigation menu for the topic, while the bottom row of the screen allows the user to either: return to the POC-IT Guide Main page, back to the HIV Guide home screen, access cross-links for related topics in other POC-IT guides (Diabetes and ABX guides), or star the topic as a favorite.

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The guide’s Drugs section is just as detailed, but amongst the expected Dosing, Drug interactions, and even prices, there were also sections for proposed resistance mechanisms.

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With this app, the user can access information that is often found in highly specialized Infectious Disease texts, and keep up-to-date on management strategies.  Perhaps one of best features in this app is the list of references found at the end of each topic, complete with links to the citations for a further advantage. The app also includes updates from Medline journals, accessed through the POC-IT Guides Homepage.

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Price: $24.99, from the Appstore or from unboundmedicine.com

Likes:

  • Thorough guide of spectrum of disease and treatment for HIV clinicians
  • Multiple literature references for each topic
  • Ability to star topics for easy review in the future

Dislikes:

  • Navigating through all the categories to individual topics can be cumbersome.  During the review, I found myself using getting lost in the sub-categories, and having to backtrack often.
  • Liberal use of abbreviations, while space saving, can lead to some issues of interpretation.

Conclusion:

  • A complete and comprehensive review of current HIV practices.
  • As it costs $24.99, it may not be the best app for the occasional user, but those who treat HIV patients more often may find themselves with an invaluable resource (Infectious disease physicians).

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/johns-hopkins-guides-abx-hiv/id429504851?mt=8