Purpose of the Review

To assess whether there are clinical scenarios where the app BeatDroid could be useful.

Introduction

A myriad of “medical” apps that aren’t really medically or clinically relevant often pollute the various app stores.

This  is a problem regardless  of whether we are discussing iTunes or the Google Play Store. Users more often stumble upon those apps with greater ease than sound and solid apps.

There are also a lot of “in-between” apps that aren’t totally irrelevant but the real life applicability of them is somewhat lacking.

One such app is BeatDroid, an app developed by Quartertone, that simply lets you tap the screen to get a beats per minute rate. The company says that it can be useful for both musicians and medical professionals. Today we will put that to the test.

User Interface

BeatDroid’s user interface is simple. As you launch the app you get a screen which contains a drawing of a QRS complex, perhaps to give the app a more “medical” look. This QRS complex is what you are supposed to tap for the app to calculate the BPM.

BeatDroid

The scenario in which this app might have any chance of being useful is where the user is either palpating the patient’s pulse or auscultating the patient’s heart and at the same time the user is also tapping on the smartphone’s screen accordingly.

Settings

Regardless of how little comfort that would that be for the physician, the main issue with this technique is the delay between hearing/feeling the pulse and tapping with your other hand. Overall, the app feels like a good example of a scenario where the inclusion of a smartphone adds unnecessary complexity without much in the way of benefit.

It is also a great example of the fundamental problem facing healthcare professionals looking for apps – there is a lot of noise hiding the apps that can actually help.

Price

  • Free
  • Donate version for $1

Likes

  • Simple

Dislikes

  • Not useful for physicians or students

Conclusion

  • BeatDroid seems to be aimed at physicians but it sure does miss the target. It might be useful for a musician.

iMedicalApps Recommended?

  • No

Google Play Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 1/5

  • User interface – 1
  • Multimedia usage – 1
  • Price – 3
  • Real world applicability -1