by: Antonio DeRosa, MLIS
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK has an Android app that is every bit as useful and functional as its desktop counterpart.
It’s easy to navigate, browse, and download guidelines from NICE with this handy app and there are no hindrances to access.
All content is public facing and readily accessible free of charge.
Just choose your guideline from the alphabetical list and begin the download.
From the homescreen you have some options: perusing available guidelines to download, downloading all of the guidelines at once, or checking for any recent updates to the guidelines — which try to help promote evidence based practice.
There is also a share option where you can download a NICE Guidelines poster to your phone’s Gallery. This image can then be sent in a text message, email, or posted to your social media outlet(s) for sharing. Though sharing content is a useful feature of any app, NICE could do a better job of streamlining this process. Having to save an image, then get to your phone’s Gallery to share using your desired media, is all too detailed and time consuming.
Also, from the homescreen you can get information on the developers of the app as well as get help on how to download the guidelines and what your phone will need to do so (a PDF reader).
Once you have downloaded the PDF of a guideline, you have a few alternate options to choose from other than simply reading. There is a FIND feature where you can search the document for a specific word or phrase. This is one of the most helpful functions of any PDF document and it’s nice to see translated to a mobile platform. There are a couple of different display options depending on your comfort with viewing the document in its default colors.
Zooming in and out is another function that’s helpful, especially when viewing on the small screen of your smartphone. You’re also able to jump to a specific page, view the document in text-only format, and undeniably the most dynamic feature, you can send the guideline as a file to an email, Dropbox, or Evernote account, for example.
All of these features are seamless and fluid within the PDF document itself.
- Quick and easy download of high quality guidelines
- Authority of the resource
- Usability and intuitive design
- Ability to send and share guidelines as files
- Sharing is technical and takes time; not all users are willing to see the process through
- Downloading guidelines takes up memory on your device
- Must be sure to have a PDF reader built-in or installed on your device
- The NICE Guidelines app for Android is a breath of fresh air in regard to simplicity, aesthetics, usability, authority, and functionality
- It is everything you would want out of an app chock full of information
- It’s organized well and is easy to access
- The options on both the homescreen and PDF documents are appropriate and helpful
- This app is truly an effective on-the-go resource for reputable medical information for the busy clinician