Author: Saif Usman MD

App Review of Oxford Handbook of Sport and Exercise Medicine for iOS and Android

The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Exercise Medicine is a sports medicine reference book published by Oxford University press and has extensive information backed by strong references. The team at Medhand International has attempted to convert this book into a mobile app as they have done with many medical textbooks before. I will note that I accessed the book app through the Dr companion library app, also developed by Medhand, but there is an option to download the app as a standalone book as well.

User interface

So let’s say I had a patient come in with a suspected rotator cuff injury and I wanted to quickly brush up on the topic. Opening the Dr companion app the first time prompts you to sign in and download your purchases. You can choose from a very large and extensive library of books from reputable publishers such as Oxford university press, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, McGraw-Hill and many more. From here on, every time the app is accessed it will open to the last page viewed. Information can be viewed in both portrait and landscape mode.

Opening the app brings you to the index screen where the book’s title is displayed in the middle of the screen and a table of contents underneath.

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At the top of the screen is a toolbar with a number of icons. This toolbar is static and always present when accessing any book in the Dr companion app. In the top-left corner there is an information icon that brings up useful tips, support and disclaimer links.

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Next to that is an icon for books that opens up a mini tab containing all the books you have purchased. Choosing any of the titles will take you to the table of contents page for that book.

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Tapping the ECG symbol opens up a mini tab of various calculators for BMI, conversions, drug half-life etc.

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The house button brings you back to the home/table of contents screen and the arrows will take you backwards and forwards through each page you have accessed so you can retrace your steps easily. I thought this was a very useful feature.

The magnifying glass opens up a search bar which has some great options. You can search your term by image, index, table or title. One thing this app doesn’t have is a lot of images so being able to find whatever images are available in a quick and easy fashion is key, which is exactly what this search function does. Similarly, if you are trying to see if there are any related tables, you can search for them. You can also find related terms and chapters using the index or title function.

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So, coming back to our patient with the rotator cuff injury. Choosing the search tab I can see if there are any images that show me relevant anatomy. Searching by index brings up relevant special tests I can do to isolate the problem and searching by title shows me more related topics so I can easily and quickly find some treatment options and other information. Although there is a small learning curve on using appropriate terms, overall the search function is fantastic and really makes the information in the app accessible for quick and easy use.

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Next to the search tab is the bookmarks tab where you can view your bookmarks. Only the bookmarks for the selected book will be displayed.

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The clock tab brings up a scrollable list of all the pages accessed and choosing any page will take you back to it

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Tapping the plus sign on the far right adds the current page to your bookmarks. Again a very useful feature for quickly marking something for easy access to review later.

The app content is pretty extensive and is the same as the actual book version and backed by the same references which is definitely reassuring. I will say the images in the app are limited but can be easily found and accessed with the search tool and are of decent quality and clarity. That being said, it would have been nice to have more pictures to go with certain key topics such as examination manoeuvres and exercise protocols. Multimedia use is key in mobile apps and that’s one area in which this book could have been better.

Evidence and literature used to support the app

This app is a mobile version of the book of the same name and as such all content is backed by the same strong references.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from this app
– Family medicine, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. Physical therapists and athletic trainers could also benefit from this app.
– All physicians and other clinical staff who practice or have an interest in sports medicine and need a reliable and easy to use mobile reference resource.

  • Price
    • $49.99 on iTunes and iOS Dr companion app; $51.99 on Android Play store; $55.06 through Android Dr companion app
    • Very easy to navigate and search
    • Clear fonts
    • Reasonably priced
    • Strong references
  • Dislikes
    • Not enough images
  • Overall

    Apart from having limited images, this is a solid app and one that sports medicine doctors and those in related fields should consider downloading. The images and tables it does contain can be easily found which is another great feature. The Dr companion app used to access the book also allows searching across other titles you have purchased.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface
  • Multimedia Usage
  • Price
  • Real World Applicability
  • Device Used For Review

    iPad mini with retina display

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad