Obstetrics and gynecology is a vast and fascinating discipline.

From performing a pap smear on a young adult, to delivering a baby, to addressing urinary incontinence in a 60-year-old woman, there is much to learn in the field of ob/gyn.

This can be a daunting task, especially for a medical student or resident.

Rapid Obstetrics and Gynaecology is an app designed to be a quick reference for those learning and practicing ob/gyn.  Based on the Wiley-Blackwell source of the same name, the app is published by MedHand – Mobile Libraries.

It costs $41.99 and is available for both the iPhone and the iPad.

The app opens into a menu screen from which the user can navigate to all major parts of the app.  Listed first is information about the app, a preface, and a list of common abbreviations.  The three main sections in the app are divided into obstetrics, gynaecology, and procedures, followed by appendices.

The obstetrics and gynaecology sections contain information about pertinent conditions in alphabetical order.  The user can tap on the condition or problem of interest to learn more.  This opens to a fact sheet of sorts, including:

  • Definition
  • Aetiology
  • Associations/Risk factors
  • Epidemiology
  • History
  • Examination
  • Pathology/Pathogenesis
  • Investigations
  • Management
  • Complications
  • Prognosis

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

The bulk of the information is contained in the obstetrics and gynaecology sections, both of which provide decent coverage of major issues.  Obstetrics is missing a few topics I expected to see, such as placenta accreta.  Gynaecology coverage, however, seemed fairly thorough.

The information is presented in a brief, concise form.  At times I wished more detail was included, but the app is meant to be a rapid reference, and for that it does the job well.


The procedures section contains information about obstetric and gynecological procedures and surgeries and is structured slightly differently.  For each procedure, the app tells you:

  • Definition
  • Indications
  • Method
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Complications
  • Prognosis

The method walks the user through the procedure step-by-step, making this a great resource for students and residents who want to familiarize themselves with a procedure before performing or observing it.

The procedure section includes most of the main procedures that an ob/gyn is required to do, such as caesarean section, tubal ligation, and even external cephalic version.

However, as with the obstetrics section, a few are notably omitted, including amniotomy, endometrial biopsy, and pap smear.  Though these are relatively simple procedures, they are routinely performed in practice and deserve to be included, especially for the benefit of trainees.

This section could also be improved by more liberal use of images and figures to illustrate each procedure.  Though an option for ‘figures’ is listed on the menu, only one figure is included in the entire section (an image of an episiotomy, shown below).  Including figures for every procedure would undoubtedly enhance the text explanations.  (It is worth noting that the appendix contains two more figures: a graphic depiction of the menstrual cycle and landmarks of the fetal skull.)

User interface and search function

The app is intuitive and easy to navigate, even for the most technologically-challenged user.  The material is organized in a clear fashion, and the user can select what he or she wants to read with just a simple tap.

A useful feature of the app is the search function, which allows the user to search any of the section titles.  Unfortunately, the app falls short in what could have been an amazing feature.  The user may only search the app by title; therefore, keywords that do not appear in the titles will not yield results.  To test this, I entered the word “contraction” – which one would expect to show up in this resource several times – with zero results.

Furthermore, the app fails to recognize alternative spellings.  Since this app was created in the UK, “postpartum hemorrhage” yields no results, but “postpartum haemorrhage” does.  This could be confusing for American users who would otherwise find the app useful and convenient.


  • $41.99


  • Well-organized and easy to navigate
  • Concise reference for physicians, residents, and students
  • For the topics included, provides pertinent and important information
  • Decent amount of content


  • Search function needs major improvements – ability to search keywords, recognize American spellings
  • Some important topics missing
  • Could use more figures and images


  • A fairly useful resource for students, residents, and physicians
  • Needs improvement in several areas

iTunes Link