The field of genetic medicine is growing at an exponential pace as a very specialized field that requires its practitioners to integrate basic science, thorough familiarity with ongoing research, and clinical knowledge. While manageable for a specialist, it is a field that is poorly understood and applied by many other healthcare providers.
Genetics 4Medics by Apps4Medics Ltd presents an app that attempts to present an often-confusing set of diseases in a simple and easy format. Accessed through the iPhone, the developers created this app with medical students and physicians in mind. However well-meaning their intentions, would the app deliver to the everyday clinician?
The home screen of the app immediately presents a list of genetic conditions, which can be browsed alphabetically. The bottom of the screen allows the user to scroll between the four main sections of the app: Genetic Conditions, Condition Mapping, Clues, and Basics.
By accessing a specific genetic disease, the information is broken down into two simple headings: Background and Genetics (includes a brief excerpt about the disease, mode of inheritance, involved genes/mutations) and Salient Features (describing mostly common clinical features of the disease). There are also a number of references for each genetic disease, mainly citations from journals.
The Condition Mapping section visually depicts the location of the genetic defect on the chromosome. Browsing through the karyotype, the user can see diseases that are caused by single genetic defects, and quickly access a specific disease for further information.
One of the apps better features comes in the Clues section. Here the user can try their hand at recognizing a genetic disease based on a clinical feature. While some clues can be a common feature for more than one disease, if used as a high-yield approach, this section might be of the most use to medical students and other physicians.
- $1.99 from the App Store
- Ability to visualize genetic locus of disease
- Ability to test your knowledge by linking clues to genetic conditions (the closest this app can be used for “high yield” topics)
- Simple, clean interface
- Although the authors attempt to limit the conditions presented to just 200, for people who are not planning on a career in genetic medicine, this still may be too much information
- While the app targets students and other clinicians, the focus is of a very limited scope, and many diseases may not be encountered by most clinicians
- However, at $1.99, it is decently priced for those interested in learning more, or having a quick access reference.