[Ed. This app review is part of our continuing series at iMedicalApps to find the best ECG apps]
Börm Bruckmeier Publishing LLC have published 38 i-Pocketcard applications for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. One of the most recently updated is the ECG application.
According to iTunes, ECG i-Pocketcards is described as:
- a quick reference for identifying all common ECG findings, such as hypertrophy, AV conduction defects, arryhthmias and more
- a concise summary of how to record and read an ECG and a standardized evaluation sheet
Read on to find out how it fares as a tool to help understand and evaluate ECGs.
The application has two main choices: ‘Classic View’ and ‘Table of Contents’. The table of contents has information relating to a wide range of common and uncommon ECG abnormalities. From the table of contents, it is possible to navigate through the menus to reach individual topics.
The content in ECG i-Pocketcards is broad, although the depth is somewhat lacking in comparison to other ECG applications available. The detail given for each specific topic is very short but it generally contains relevant information (see screenshots for examples). However, the lack of explanatory material for each abnormality could make it difficult for medical students to learn ECG interpretation using this application.
The classic view represents a more traditional flashcard view, although considerable zooming is required to read the detail. There are five traditional ‘flashcards’ available. It should be noted that the content is identical in either the ‘Classic View’ or the ‘Table of Contents’. The ECG interpretation form is quite useful for helping identify common ECG abnormalities.
ECG i-Pocketcards is an easily accessible application with a straightforward menu layout. The lack of a search function is mitigated by the classic view where it is relatively easy to scan the complete content of the application. Due to its flashcard format, ECG i-Pocketcards is suitable for students and healthcare professionals who are looking for an accessible reference guide. The extensive use of diagrams, tables and annotated ECG traces ensures that information is found in a straightforward fashion.
There is very little information regarding clinical correlations and diagnostic criteria. Similarly, this application would be of limited use at the bedside as it does not cover ECG interpretation in depth. A further drawback is the frustrating visual interface. In the ‘Classic View’, it is essential to zoom in order to read any detail whilst in the ‘Table of Contents’, each specific topic contains only two or three sentences, which is a poor use of screen space.
- Wide appeal to healthcare professionals of any level
- Lots of tables and diagrams ensure information is readily available
- Application is simple and easy to understand and use
- Very little explanatory information regarding the pathophysiology behind the ECG abnormalities
- Visual interface could be improved – many specific topics may only have one or two lines leaving lots of empty space
- There is a range of material essential for understanding ECGs missing from this application such as the pathophysiology of each abnormality.
- ECG i-Pocketcards is a solid application with a comprehensive range of ECG abnormalities which is readily accessible to a range of healthcare professionals.
- Ultimately this is a pocket reference guide rather than an authoritative ECG text.
- Users should be aware that there are other mobile alternatives that contain considerably more information at a similar price.
- Despite a disappointing lack of detail, this application does what it set out to do and in that respect it is a success.