I love the idea of small scale specific medical apps.
It signals that the creation of apps has become user friendly enough that projects do not have to seek a wide audience or be in use for a long time.
The UBC Med Formulary was designed and developed by the pharmacology staff and a team of undergraduate students at the University of British Columbia.
The app is designed to follow the University’s pharmacology curricula with drugs searchable by Class (eg ACE inhibitors) or by Category (eg the name of the academic block- BB, BL, CV, etc). This works well for the BC student but does limit the apps usage to a wider audience.
Once you have navigated to a particular drug you can find the class, mechanism of action, side effects, dosages, indications, contraindications, alternate names, and pharmacokinetics, important notes, and interactions. The success of the app is the quiz mode which is a flashcard style review. In it you pick a topic (side effects) and then pick a category of drugs (BB academic block) to review.
This would be a major bonus for students preparing for a test. They can review for each block on their phone with the app’s pre-made flashcards.
The challenge to the medical app is its limitation to medical students at the University of British Columbia. It could become a boon for other medical students if it changes the names of the academic blocks and added more drugs to each drug class. However, this would, of course, make it less perfect for the pharmacology students.
- It is wonderful to see project specific apps. There are many small domains, including specific medical school classes, that can benefit from medical apps.
- The detraction about project specific apps is, of course, their scope.
- The developers might be able to gain a wider audience by adding more drugs for each class and by changing the category titles to make sense to a wider audience.
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Medical students, especially those at the University of British Columbia
- Great medical app for the University of British Columbia medical students. The app can also be a boon for any medical student as the drugs used are fairly universal. Plus, it is free.
Type of Device used to review app–iPhone 5
Rating: 3 Stars
1. User Interface: 4 stars- easy to navigate
2. Multimedia usage: 3 stars- limited
3. Price: 5 stars- can’t beat free
4. Real world applicability: 2 stars- Great for its purpose but low real world applicability beyond the classroom at the University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia Medical Journal: accessed 3/14/14
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.