Purpose of App Review

*To evaluate how well the Keynote app for iPad and iPhone can be used by health professionals to create and present digital slide shows.

*To evaluate how well the Keynote Remote app allows presenters to direct a slide presentation using an iPhone as a remote.

*To give a video demonstration of how Keynote works on the iPad and to show specific ways that health professionals can use it.


Health care providers must develop professional skills outside the traditional bounds of clinical medicine. For instance, we are expected to present regularly in both academic and clinical settings, from grand rounds to bedside teaching.

Unfortunately, medicine is not immune to the death by PowerPoint phenomenon. While a good speaker is made from more than their slideshow software, a good software program can help add polish to an otherwise average presentation.

Many Apple users have long preferred using Keynote, which is Apple’s well designed equivalent to Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Keynote is now also available as a mobile application for the iPhone and iPad. Keynote Remote is a separate app that allows users to direct a presentation on a laptop or iPad through their iPhone.

User Interface

The Keynote interface is remarkably intuitive. The iOS app includes an extensive how-to guide set up like a sandbox to help new users practice with formatting tools.

When starting a new presentation, several presentation styles are available.

Formatting text is easy with an extensive style menu.

Images and videos can be added from the iPhoto library. Images can be formatted with a mask, which functions as a picture frame of sorts to highlight the important part of the image. The mask function is difficult to explain here with a still image, but can be explored more through the video demonstration included in this review below.

Elegant charts and graphs can be created directly in the app.

When attached to a projector, presenter notes can be viewed on the device, but are not shown to the audience.

Alternatively, notes can be viewed during the presentation on an iPhone using Keynote Remote. This iPhone app connects to an iPad or laptop via bluetooth. When connected, Keynote Remote mirrors the slide presentation on the iPhone. The user controls the presentation from the iPhone by swiping the screen.

Landscape mode shows the current slide and next slide. Presenter notes can be turned on when in Portrait mode.

Unfortunately, this app isn’t compatible with presentations that use links to move through different slides–links are visible but not active when tapped. Keynote allows users to email presentations as a PDF, PowerPoint, or Keynote file. Presentations can also be opened in other apps using any of those formats.

There are several options for presenting a Keynote slideshow from the iPad. An iPad/iPhone to VGA adapter provides a direct connection between the mobile device and the projector. This works well when there’s an obvious VGA cable available; however, in my experience that’s not always the case.

In a pinch, I’ve resorted to downloading the presentation as a PowerPoint file from iCloud. Another option is to use mirroring software like AirServer. Every presentation setup is different, so it’s important to always have a plan B.

See the video below for a full demonstration of how Keynote can be used to make a medical presentation.


  • $9.99 for Keynote
  • $0.99 for Keynote Remote


  • Extensive formatting options presented in an intuitive interface
  • Elegant presentation styles
  • Portability for presentations stored on mobile devices, readily available for bedside teaching
  • Keynote Remote is easy to use, helpful to see next slide or presenter notes on iPhone screen


  • Conversion to PowerPoint not as seamless as advertised
  • Some formatting lost between Keynote desktop app and mobile app
  • Ergonomically challenging to work for several hours on an iPad, as the natural position is to hunch over the device on a flat surface
  • Animated .gif images are not supported in Keynote
  • Presentation links to other slides are not active in Keynote Remote

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • All providers that use digital slide sets for educational or administrative purposes, especially those already using the desktop version of Keynote.


  • For medical professionals, portability is by far the best part about the Keynote mobile app. Most of us have countless presentations hidden in our digital attics. Uploading those presentations to iCloud and having access to them through Keynote means that we can carry them with us and use them in our regular practice.
  • After I see a patient with an airway problem, I can pull up my presentation on that topic to go over a few quick teaching points with the medical student I’m working with, instead of scribbling on the back of a some scrap paper. Similarly, providers can create presentations for patient education to use at the bedside.
  • The best time to teach is when the learner is ready to learn. Now we can be ready to teach whenever that moment happens.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link Keynote
ITunes Link Keynote Remote


Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

  • User Interface – 5/5 -Seamless and intuitive navigation
  • Multimedia usage – 5/5 – Easy to integrate photos and videos from iPhoto library
  • Price – 3 / 5 – Moderate cost
  • Real world applicability – 4 / 5 – Great for bedside teaching from the mobile device. Some formatting is lost in file conversion. Adaptors available to attach to most projectors, however, if cable not available, can be downloaded directly to a PC through iCloud.