by: Dr Philip Xiu, MB BChir (Cantab)

The use of the SkyScape platform has been previously reviewed by iMedicalApps for the bolt-on app of Outlines in Clinical Medicine: SkyScape review – Outlines in Clinical Medicine.

The breathtaking speed of modern day research results in physicians being besieged with hundreds of new clinical pearls  in their own field alone.

In such a time limited environment, this makes it hard to keep up-to-date with latest protocols and evidence based medicine that is relevant for your particular specialty.

The Journal Watch – Hospital Medicine is another bolt-on app for the SkyScape platform, which is a source for the latest medical news, and guidelines by providing summaries and commentaries of key medical research written by practicing clinicians collated from over 250 journals.

The Hospital Medicine app itself is but one of 13 that Journal Watch offers.

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On opening the app, the list of article summaries is displayed by time order, and since the updates come weekly, it is a sensible approach. However it also allows you to search/look at all the previous summaries that were published prior to the date you bought the app – as listed by topic format.

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On expanding the various weeks, we can see a list of the clinical research summaries that have been released by the Journal Watch – Hospital Medicine team.

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The articles are sent on a weekly basis. Below is a summary of the number of updates you can expect to get over the year split into a monthly analysis:

  • Nov. 2011: 3
  • Oct. 2011: 2
  • Sep. 2011: 5
  • Aug. 2011: 2
  • Jul. 2011: 3
  • Jun. 2011: 3
  • Apr. 2011: 5
  • Mar. 2011: 4
  • Feb. 2011: 3
  • Jan. 2011: 5

Although the number of articles that Journal Watch – Hospital Medicine comments on is rather small, the quality of its commentaries is unrivaled.

Pricing and technicals:

  • $59.99 on the Blackberry & iPhone for 1 year’s rent
  • 193kb initial download
  • Weekly updates via SkyScape

Likes:

  • Journal Watch – Hospital medicine is part of a suite of other specialties that can be ordered for the specialist (Cardiology, Dermatology etc), that focuses on advances in their own fields
  • The quality of the commentaries shows a depth and true appreciation of the topic at hand

Dislikes/possible future updates:

  • The sparsity of general updates is disappointing. Some journals such as British Medical Journal features a weekly summary/digest of all topical medical research that may be present in the other medical journals
  • Paying $59.99 for 1 year’s rental of this service did not seem to yield suitable value

Conclusion:

  • Although a very useful app to have, the price and the sparsity of the updates makes this app a second line solution in keeping up with the latest updates to medical research
  • However, with more clinical commentaries and more frequent updates (perhaps bi-weekly), this app may merit stronger consideration.

Blackberry Link