Essential Evidence

Price: $85 for Individual Subscription plus Institutional Subscriptions

When I first became an evidence based medicine convert, I went looking for medical apps that truly presented the “evidence” not just “expert opinion”. The app that initially met my needs was InfoPOEMS. Founded by Dr Mark Ebell, a family physician and current Editor in Chief of the American Family Physician journal, InfoPOEMS was my go to app on my old Treo smartphone.

InfoPOEMS would simultaneously search multiple databases including the entire Cochrane Library, the 5 Minute Clinical Consult, all the guidelines in the National Guideline Clearinghouse, numerous medical calculators and rarely seen clinical prediction tools, and most notably a collection of handpicked summaries of the evidence from over 100 top journals. It would make any evidence based medicine junkie salivate. In the mid-2000’s, InfoPOEMS was sold to Wiley and rebranded as Essential Evidence Plus.

Frankly, it hasn’t changed much since. Unfortunately, from a mobile perspective it is worse. The Palm and Windows Mobile apps were discontinued after those operating systems lost ground to iOS and Android. The Essential Evidence app was redesigned as a universal mobile web app — so basically an app you use through your browser.

This is a tremendous drawback. The days of offline use of InfoPOEMS are gone! The mobile app is clumsy and requires significant use of the “refine” option to get the best answers. If you use it solely from a desktop/laptop perspective, the interface is definitely usable. I still use this reference daily and ensure all of my residents and fellows receive the Daily POEM. This resource could really be top notch if it had a true offline app. At $85 for an individual subscription, Essential Evidence is really a bargain compared to $499 for an individual subscription to UpToDate.

Links: Web app

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