by: Brian Chau, MS3
Having recently completed my rotation in pediatrics, I tried out a number of resources for my iPhone to help me make it through the day-to-day.
One of the first apps I encountered was the Medhand’s Manual of Childhood Infections. This app is derived from the textbook bearing the same name and is written in part by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Here we look to see how this app does and whether future medical students should consider it for the digital toolkit.
Upon loading the Manual of Childhood Infections app, users are greeted by a simple landing page that showcases the 4 sections of the handbook.
At the bottom of the screen are four tab options:
- “Viewer” (general handbook browsing)
The book is organized into two main sections: “Clinical Syndromes” and “Specific Infections”. The “Specific Infections” portion is organized alphabetically, from “Adenovius” to “Yersiniosis”. “Clinical Syndromes” covers more general topics, including “Bone and Joint Infections”, Conjunctivitis”, “Intra-abdominal Infections”, and more.
I primarily browsed through the “Clinical Syndromes” section, as the breadth of topics covered within was incredibly useful, both on inpatient and outpatient services.
Manual of Childhood Infections contains a lot of good clinical information in a format familiar to users of popular apps like Epocrates (Epidemiology, Management, Prevention, Treatment, etc). It also has interesting sections under certain infections, such as “Future Research and Further Reading”, that are useful for finding out the current trends.
Furthermore, I was impressed by the full color images on various tables. The “Common Chilhood Rashes” page is excellent, although in pediatrics reference images for eczema would be especially helpful. Also, the images are stored locally on the iOS device and don’t require an active network connection; certainly a plus for users without a data plan.
It’s important to note that this handbook app is geared towards the UK and European medical audience. As a result, some aspects may differ from the approach taken in many US-based hospitals.
Additionally, some of the topics addressed specifically (such as “Contributions of infectious diseases to neonatal and childhood deaths in England and Wales”) are also obviously more region-focused. Despite this potential shortcoming, I still found the Manual of Childhood Infections app incredibly useful.
The Manual of Childhood Infections features several useful learning tools and customization options. The font size is adjustable, especially helpful when reading on smaller iOS devices such as the iPod Touch. When browsing, users can add virtual bookmarks by tapping the “+” button on pages. Bookmarked pages are viewable under their own tab, with titles that may be edited by the user to better reflect the content.
Another way to quickly access pages is the history function, similar to the history saved while browsing the Internet (under its own tab). Finally, one of the best user customization options is the note-taking feature. When a user finds a page, table or section that needs some extra notes added in, simply highlighting the text results in a pop-up note tool. Notes are added in an annotation format and are easily editable through the app.
Turning a popular medical textbook into a virtual iOS edition can be a very risky process. Too often some of the finer points of the textbook may be lost in the process, images might not appear just right, or browsing format on the iPhone or iPad just isn’t as accessible as the text version.
Fortunately, the conversion of Manual of Childhood Infections did not result in such complications. Rather, the app version of this title handles quite well on iOS by featuring an accessible layout and plenty of informative content. It is a solid app and I highly recommend considering it for any medical student interested in pediatric clinical resources.
Moreover, it is especially useful for third-year medical students on their pediatric rotations, as the Manual of Childhood Infections feels like a solid reference source for both pediatric inpatient and outpatient services.
This app requires iOS 3.0 or later and runs on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.
- Manual of Childhood Infections is available for $59.99, through iTunes.
- Large array of pediatric ID topics
- Full color images with local data storage
- Accessible user interface
- Low iOS requirements, runs well on older devices
- Great Further Research topics for further exploration
- Notation tools adds extra personalization touch to app
- Some topics more regional-specific
- Online support through developer website limited
- Manual of Childhood Infections is a great app for students and clinicians on their pediatric rotations
- With low system requirements, full-color images, impressive notation options and a wide selection of topics, this app is a solid medical app for your iOS