Doctors and other healthcare professionals working in the UK will be well aware of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence or NICE.
NICE quality standards help healthcare professionals define what high quality care should look like for a specific disease, condition or clinical area.
They are based on the best available evidence, including existing NICE guidance. Existing guidelines are available from the internet but now NICE have recently launched an Android and an iPhone app to improve accessibility.
The Android version of NICE Guidance is a free download that contains valuable information on a range of conditions and diseases as well as public health guidance.
It contains all of NICE’s clinical guidelines as well as detailed information on technology appraisals, procedures, medical technology and diagnostics.
The attraction of this app is that it allows you to consult up to date guidelines from your phone without the need for a computer. The search function is useful to identify relevant guidance quickly while the bookmark feature is a handy addition for topics that are regularly accessed.
Accessing sections is straightforward and the simple user interface should be commended. Initially, the user is presented with a range of body systems e.g. Cardiovascular, which are then broken down into guidelines for individual conditions. Selecting a condition breaks the official guidance into mini sections. It is possible to browse through sections with a simple slide gesture and the main titles are hyperlinked meaning it was very easy to quickly navigate to the desired content.
NICE have done a good job converting the standard PDF guidelines into a format appropriate for a mobile device. This is helpful as it can sometimes be a chore to search through large PDFs on a device with a small screen.
There is also a range of export options including the ability to email complete articles or individual chapters.
NICE Guidance also checks back to the official site in order to ensure that all the articles are up to date. The app will offer to download all the latest guidelines. One surprising omission is the lack of the quick reference guides which are often very useful to quickly ascertain the next step in patient management and treatment.
I was able to find a hyperlink to these guides; however, tapping on them just took me back to the home screen. It would also be nice to have scroll bars to give the user a rough idea of where in the article they are in case you want to refer back to a specific point.
- All guidance is stored locally so information can be accessed without an internet connection
- Always up to date
- Easy to find relevant information
- Good user interface with appropriately formatted articles
- Quick reference guides are missing
- Scrollbars would be a nice addition
- An excellent official app from NICE which will help healthcare professionals quickly find the relevant guidance on their mobile device
- The regular updates and free price mean that this is an essential download for UK doctors