neuReference is an app developed to help medical students on their neurosurgery rotation, junior neurosurgery residents, and those who are rotating through neurosurgery as residents.

The app includes quick access to relevant anatomy, clinical scales and scores, and frequently referenced literature.

In particular, the app was created to help students answer questions that neurosurgery attendings like to ask without having to look at multiple resources.

The app is unique in that it updates its content without the user having to update the app through the app store.

And if the developers continue to add more information, this app could become an essential tool for many students and trainees.

User Interface:

The app opens up with a main menu screen that has four main categories: Anatomy, Grades and Scales, Literature and Pathophysiology.

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Each of the selections on the main menu opens to a list that contains the main content of the app. Currently, the Anatomy and Literature sections of the app are quite extensive. The Grades and Scales as well as the Pathophysiology sections are lacking in content. However, according to the app’s website, more content will continue to be added.

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The Anatomy section mostly contains images that can be found on the Wikipedia section of the given search term but makes them easier and quicker to access.

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Below is an example of one of the grading scales that can be found in the app.

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One of the best aspects of this app is the long list of commonly referenced literature. This section of the app can really help medical students excel by helping support their knowledge and allowing them to answer using evidence based medicine. The app displays the abstract of the studies listed and provides a link to the full text as well.

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Currently, the Pathophysiology section mainly lists CNS malignancies. The content of these also is lacking overall as seen in the entry below.

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Other beneficial features of the app are that it cites the majority of the information listed within the app and has a useful search bar that allows the user to search the internet for relevant information without leaving the app itself.

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Has an extensive list of literature that is relevant to neurosurgery
  • Has citations for majority of the content in the app

Dislikes

  • Many sections of the app are incomplete or missing robust content; however, the developers are promising to add more content — giving this app great potential

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Medical students, junior neurosurgery residents and residents who rotate through neurosurgery will find this app useful.

Conclusion

  • This app has the potential to be a very useful app for medical students on their neurosurgery rotation, residents who rotate through neurosurgery, and junior neurosurgery residents who are still learning the basics of neurosurgery.
  • The app was designed to provide an easy to access as well as an easy to digest resource for neurosurgery related information.
  • However, the content is not complete and cannot be an app that can be relied on for general basic information on all neurosurgery related topics. The app is also currently free at this time and definitely worth a look if it remains a free app.
  • As of publish, there is no Android version available.

Type of Device used to review app–iPhone 5
Version of App–1.0.3

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 3/5

  1. User Interface: 4 – Very easy to use and navigate. Has a useful search feature and links to full text articles.
  2. Multimedia usage: 1 – No original images are included. All images for anatomy can be found on Wikipedia.
  3. Price: 5 – Free
  4. Real world applicability: 2 – Currently, the app does not have all of the information that would be needed to make this app a resource that could be used by itself. However, if more content is added, it has the potential to be a very useful app.

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.