The BabelMeSH app allows you to perform a quick search of MEDLINE PubMed in thirteen different languages. Previously, iMedicalApps reported on a similar app by the National Library of medicine — and this is their second app. The main screen of BabelMeSH provides three approaches to searching. Two of the approaches use MeSH terms (including the translation feature) and the third uses the PICO format (problem, intervention, comparison, outcome).
The app requires a little bit of playing around to figure out all of the features as there is really no direction and little explanation of them.
Although this is a little frustrating at first, the frustration is short-lived since the app is rather simple.
The first of the three approaches has the same name as the app — BabelMeSH.
In this section, you begin by selecting a language. Then you enter your search term in the selected language. In the screenshot below, French was used for the purpose of demonstration.
The app translates the search term to the relevant MeSH search terms in English. Select the term and it searches PubMed with that term. The second approach, MeSH Lookup, is a little redundant as it essentially does the same thing as the BabelMeSH section. The difference is that this section can also translate search terms between languages. After the first page where the search terms are entered, the rest is exactly the same.
The third approach uses the PICO format (problem, intervention, comparison, outcome). There are four fields (one for each letter of the acronym). You simply enter the relevant information in each field and search.
Regardless of which approach is used, the result is a list of citations with the bottom line (TBL) summaries. You can display the abstract and full text (if you have access to it). Citations can be emailed or stored in an archive to be viewed later.
- Simply designed app
- After a small learning curve, the app is easy to use
- Lack of explanation of features
- Search function could be more intuitive
- No way to filter results
- The BabelMeSH app allows you to search the MEDLINE PubMed database in thirteen different languages. Although the usage of the app is not immediately intuitive, it becomes easy to use once you learn its functionality. The app could be greatly improved with a little work on the intuitiveness of the interface and adding functionality to filter results, but overall, the app is a good tool to quickly search PubMed.
- The app is not available on Android.
Device–This app was reviewed using an iPhone 5s.
- User Interface: 3/5 – The interface is not immediately intuitive and comes with no instructions. To be comfortable, you have to play with it a little bit.
- Multimedia Usage: 3/5 – The ability to email citations is nice, but beyond that, the app does not take advantage of any multimedia capabilities. In addition, it would be nice to see filtering capabilities.
- Price: 5/5 – Free
- Real World Applicability: 4/5 – This app’s usefulness would be limited to a quick look at an article or two on a topic (likely one that you have looked up before). For a more in depth look, this app is not the way to go.
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.