Purpose of App Review

Does the ACEP News mobile app improve the reader experience when compared to the previous print version?

Introduction

Print media is undergoing a radical transformation as more and more readers use digital media instead of traditional newspapers and magazines. Physicians quickly amass large stacks of dusty journals, magazines and newsletters that many are ready to give up in favor of more portable digital options.

Apps like Read by QxMD allow physicians to subscribe to specific medical journals and read articles in PDF form accessed through their institutional library subscriptions.

Apple set up the Newsstand  folder in iOS as a one stop shop for users to subscribe to newspapers and magazines. ACEP News Digital is a new medical app from the American College of Emergency Physicians that provides a digital copy of their monthly publication.

User Interface

Each monthly issue is presented in the original format–identical to the paper issue–in addition to a user friendly text only format.

When opening the app for the first time, users must be connected to a data network to download copies of the issues. Once downloaded, the articles are saved on the device and can be read offline. Videos are not saved offline.

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Users can switch back and forth between the print layout and text only layout. This makes it easy for a user to scan through the entire issue, then swap to the text only format to read a specific article more easily. Users can also bookmark specific articles.

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Advertisements shown in the print version are also included in the digital reproduction. When reading articles in the text format, an ad bar is present on the bottom of the screen. Users can even bookmark specific articles and share them via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Interestingly, the app includes multimedia not available in the print issue. The April 2013 issue includes a 3 minute interview with Dr. Keith Borg about pediatric head and neck infections from the ACEP/AAP Advanced Pediatric EM Assembly.

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I am enthusiastically replacing my dusty shelf of medical journals and news magazines with online subscriptions. I look forward to reading ACEP News online through this medical app too.

I wonder, however, if individual apps are the most efficient solution for readers. Why not offer a subscription to ACEP news through the iOS newsstand? If every publication we read creates their own specific app, our dusty bookshelves may be replaced by forgotten app folders.

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Straightforward navigation
  • Articles available offline

Dislikes

  • Prominent advertising
  • Multimedia not available offline
  • Limited multimedia published–only one short video in the last issue.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Emergency Medicine physicians and residents

Conclusion

  • ACEP News Digital offers existing readers a more convenient way to access news articles on the go.
  • Additional multimedia features are limited and will hopefully be expanded in future issues.
  • This app is also available on the Android platform.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link 
Google Play Link
Kindle Store Link 

Type of Device used to review app: iPhone 4S with iOS 6.1 Version of App 6.1
Version of App Reviewed: 1.0

Rating: 4/5 Stars
User Interface -­ 4 -­ Straightforward navigation, some challenges with opening correct article in text format.
Multimedia usage ­- 3 -­ Well integrated, but unavailable offline.
Price ­- 5 ­- Free.
Real world applicability -­ 4 -­ A good replacement for the print copy.

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.