Purpose of App Review

How useful is this app as a medical pocket reference tool?

Introduction

Hohler’s QuickMedRef is an app developed to be a quick pocket reference tool that can be used on the wards.

This app seems to be a mobile version of the popular Maxwell’s Quick Medical Reference booklet that every medical student and resident carries in their white coats.

The goal of these resources are to provide quick access to commonly used medical information while on the wards without having to waste time looking them up every time. This includes normal lab values, various medical exams and examples of common medical notes.

User Interface

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This app opens up with a table of contents screen which is very easy to navigate. Clicking on any of the topics opens up either a screen with subsections or a screen with the actual related medical information.

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The app includes a great ACLS algorithm image along with relevant text along the side. However, other similar physical pocket reference tools that are available provide more information such as what steps to take during an acute coronary syndrome, adult brady/tachycardia with pulse, suspected stroke, etc.

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Some of the topics from the main screen open up to a screen with additional subtopics. Although this may help organize the information within the app, once the user clicks on a subtopic, they need to click the back button in order to go to the next subtopic. It would be more useful and convenient if the user was also able to swipe to the next page.

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The content of the app includes commonly used medical information such lab values, various templates of medical notes as well as common medical examinations. However, some of these sections are missing important information. For example, the page with lab chemistries does not include the normal values for liver enzymes (ALT, AST, Alkaline Phosphatase, Bilirubin) which are commonly used by medical professionals.

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There are also pages that include some images but most of them seem to just be clip art style images that are not necessary and tend to take away from the aesthetics of the app. Some pages do include images that may be useful/relevant such as the image of the cranial nerves, but the image can be too small to read on a mobile device. Overall, this medical app could be useful on the floors; however, it is missing important information making some of the alternative products available more useful.

Price

  • $0.99

Likes

  • Very easy to use
  • Each section is broken down into a table of contents on the main screen

Dislikes

  • Missing a ton of valuable information, including typical lab values, and various medical exams that are currently available on similar physical products.

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Any healthcare worker who is looking for a pocket reference tool for commonly used medical information

Conclusion

  • This app is a mobile medical reference tool that is similar to several common physical pocket medical references that are used by medical professionals all around.
  • However, compared to the physical reference booklets and cards that are available, this app lacks a lot of common medical information, such as common lab values. This additional information would make this app much more useful. The medical reference tool booklets and cards that are available take up very little space in a white coat and can be purchased for less than $10, making them better alternatives.

Android version of this application

  • Not available at the time of this review

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • No

iTunes Link

Type of Device used to review app–iPhone 5
Version of App–2.0

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 3.4/5

  1. User Interface:  4/5 – Easy to use. Navigation can get annoying. For example, when the user wants to go from one page to the next within a section but they have to hit the back button to go to the table of contents. This occurs in some of the subsections such as “Neuro”. Other subsections allow the user to swipe to the next page which is much more useful.
  2.  Multimedia usage: 3/5 – App includes a nice ACLS algorithm graphic, but the other graphics included are either not necessary or hard to read such as the cranial nerve image.
  3. Price: 3/5 – The app is $0.99, but should be free since it lacks important information.
  4. Real world applicability: 2.5/5 -This app can be useful for medical professionals. However, it does not include all of the information that is available in other similar products.

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.