Purpose of App Review
- to review the laboratory and diagnostic tests available
- to review the guidance for test collection and purpose
Laboratory tests are an important part of working up or managing a patient’s health status. These can range from common tests, like a complete blood count or a basic metabolic panel, to tests that are rarely needed. Davis’s Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests medical app seeks to provide a guide for how to collect an extensive list of tests, as well as how to explain why a particular test might be ordered.
In order to use the app, you need to register (for free) and are prompted to do so on the first use of the app.
The home screen gives you access to the app’s extensive features including Favorites, Appendices, By System, Synonyms/Acronyms, and Tube Guide.
You can access laboratories and tests in a few ways. Upon selecting By System you are given a list of systems from which you can choose–through successive menus–your app of interest.
You can also find tests through the Synonyms section which allows you to jump or scroll to find your test of interest in alphabetical order.
You can also use the index search feature, which is available at the top right portion of the app. Simply type in your test name and as you type, a pop-up window lists matches.
Each information section provides options to navigate within the indexed section and to add it to your Favorites.
For one of my patients, for example, my differential for her high blood pressure includes pheochromocytoma. I do not work this up very often. I can browse lab tests under endocrinology–this brings me to a description of catecholamines. This then guides me on the type of tube I need, why I might use this test, what normal levels are, and a differential for abnormal values, among other info.
- extensive inclusion of diagnostic and laboratory tests
- ability to save tests as a favorite
- provides lists of synonyms and acronyms
- visual tube guide included in app
- links to additional resources included
- does not have every test (which would be impossible), including some regularly used tests (such as protein:creatinine ratios in preeclampsia)
- does not always provide concentration calculator or list cutoffs in other units (some laboratories only provide one unit of measurement for their labs and if you do not have appropriate cut off values in the same unit of measurement, you may not be able to interpret your results)
- no feature to identify the test that would work best for your clinical question
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Per Unbound Medicine, this app targets nurses as the healthcare professionals who often draw labs or transport patients to diagnostic studies. The app is helpful to any healthcare professional who has use of this knowledge–it is helpful to me when I am in East Africa and I am the one drawing the tests.
- The Davis’s Laboratory & Diagnostic Tests medical app provides a useful app with a wide-breadth of tests, as well as guidance on how to counsel and collect tests. The app is geared towards those responsible for obtaining laboratory tests and could be considered cost prohibitive if only used occasionally. It is available on multiple platforms including the iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry.
1. User Interface – 5. Incredibly easy to navigate. Can return to the home screen from any screen.
2. Multimedia usage – 4. Includes photos and utilizes split screen display with smooth transitions.
3. Price – 2. On the expensive side at $49.99.
4. Real world applicability – 3. Most helpful for less used tests and/or for those who are new to collecting tests
App version: 1.1
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad; optimized for iPhone 5
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Tested on: iPhone 4S and iPad 4
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 healthcare provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or healthcare 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 healthcare provider.