When it comes to medical apps and mobile technology, one of the most well used resources is the medical calculator. These apps take user input information and apply defined formulae to calculate a range of useful information.
These apps allow physicians to save time and effort but more importantly reduce the chance of making a mistake. QxMD have developed a highly successful medical calculator called Calculate for iPhone which has recently been ported to Android.
Calculate by QxMD is an incredibly useful free app for Android. It contains over 150 medical calculators and clinical support tools which are all easily accessible from the home menu.
The home menu is divided into specialties which allow appropriate calculators to be easily found. The user interface is clear and it was easy to find the appropriate calculator.
Once a calculator was found, the interface to input information was clear, straightforward, and informative – which meant data input was easy. The app made good use of the large screen size with large buttons and clear instructions. One feature which would be useful to implement in the future would be a memory function that makes it possible to save the results of the last calculation. There were occasionally times when I would accidentally move off the screen showing the result and be faced with the task of running through all the questions again.
One of the major issues with regards to medical calculators is ensuring that they have an appropriate evidence base. Here Calculate does not disappoint with a tab containing relevant citations and papers available with the result of the calculation. This enables users to critically appraise the information and supporting evidence.
There were other methods of finding the correct calculator to use – a Search function, Index, Recently viewed, and Favorites. The Favorites tab was probably the quickest and easiest method to find regularly used calculators although these need to be set up and selected. The Recent function was very useful while the Search function was robust and effective.
- Free from Android Market
- Clear, attractive intuitive user interface
- Wide selection of calculators with range of search methods
- Evidence based information readily available
Dislikes/Future upgrades I’d like to see:
- Would be useful to save the last result in short term memory
- Calculate by QxMD carries the same level of finesse and finish as its impressive partner apps
- The switch to Android has not had any negative effects
- This is an impressive medical calculator app which, with a free price tag, should appeal to all healthcare professionals who use an android phone