One of the most useful types of medical apps is clinical decision support tools.

These apps help provide a diagnosis decision when presented with a challenging patient case.

Isabel healthcare was set up following a tragic case of misdiagnosis. Using Isabel, doctors can access critical information at the point-of-care to help streamline the diagnostic process.

The Isabel clinical decision support system has two main components: the IDCS and Knowledge component.

For a given set of clinical features from a patient, the IDCS instantly provides the clinician with a checklist of likely diagnoses and causative drugs.

The Isabel database contains over 11,000 diagnoses and over 4,000 drugs.

The Knowledge component goes one step further: it harnesses diverse medical knowledge related to each of the diagnostic suggestions and drugs. It also searches an extensive knowledge base to find specific answers to clinical questions arising in the workflow.

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The Isabel app is not designed to provide a diagnosis, it is merely designed to help doctors consider a short list of alternative possibilities and important red flag conditions. Once a user has logged in, they are presented with a list of basic epidemiological options and the ability to add a clinical feature e.g. chest pain or orthopnea.

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The app cannot deal with negative clinical features or numbers, however it can deal with common abbreviations.

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Once the user has put all the major clinical features into the app then a checklist of all the major differentials can be retrieved from the Isabel servers. The delay waiting for results was quite frustrating as was the reliance on internet connectivity.

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Once the relevant results have been displayed then the user can explore them by conditions important not to miss or ‘all of them’. The list of diagnoses is not ranked in order of clinical probability but by how well the query entered matched the Isabel database.

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Clicking on a diagnosis brings up supporting knowledge from up to six external sources including Google, Pubmed, Wikipedia etc. This is particularly helpful to quickly inform oneself about the salient features of a particular condition.

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There is an option to export via email, print, or as a PDF.alt (3)

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  • Isabel offers a weekly subscription for $2.99
  • A monthly option for $10.99
  • A yearly subscription for $119.99


  • Easy to use interface
  • Ability to display supporting knowledge
  • Useful diagnostic support tool


  • Reliant on internet connection
  • Long delay while waiting for screens to load

Overall Rating:

  • Isabel Diagnosis is a great tool for doctors who are willing to pay for the subscription and have wireless access
  • The delays loading information can be frustrating
  • However there is a definite need for the app and the service it provides when doctors are presented with a challenging diagnostic mystery

iTunes link