By: Jay Agarwal
The Project LAB app was developed to give users a list of normal lab values for the most commonly used labs. The app includes explanations of each lab, what it is used for, and a differential for what may cause increased or decreased values. The app also has a quiz option for students to test their knowledge about the different labs within the app.
The app opens to the main screen which is formatted in a unique modern format. Different circles with different colors represent different types of labs (i.e. Red = CBC). Although these give the app a modern feel, at first glance, it can be confusing for the user and could benefit from labels within the circles. The user can click on a circle and will be brought to a list of specific labs that they can select from, or the main menu if they click the center circle.
The menu then allows the user to select from the type of labs they want to look up. There is also an option for a quiz, as well as two options that are only available on an iPad: “Conditions” and “Diseases and The Rx”.
Once the user selects a category of labs, they are brought to a menu with specific labs that they can choose from.
After selecting a specific lab value, they are brought to a screen with detailed information. The information provided is usually general information about that specific lab value, why it is obtained, and what the numbers may signify. These are listed in a way that makes it easy for patients to understand so it can be a great resource for them.
There is also a differential diagnosis listed for increased and decreased values which could be very helpful to medical students. On the iPad version of the app, the user can click on an item within the differential to get general information about that specific disease process. Although the app has general information, there are no citations for information provided. One small tweak that the app needs is that when the user clicks on the back button, they are brought to the home screen rather than going back one menu which can get annoying.
The app also provides an option to look up lab values alphabetically.
The app has a quiz format that can be useful for students to learn and test their knowledge on information they have read within the app. However, there is no way to tell how many questions are available or to test knowledge by categories.
The iPad version of the app includes two additional sections which are “The Rx” and “Conditions and diseases”. These sections include a list of medications and diseases and give the user a 1-2 sentence general explanation of the disease or medication.
Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app:
Medical students, residents, and junior attending physicians. Patients could potentially benefit as well.
- Includes good content that is easy to digest
- Includes differential diagnosis which is helpful for students and, quite frankly, is the main reason the app should be considered for purchase
- Includes quiz option
- Although modern looking, navigation on iPhone version could use improvement
- Needs citations for information; a huge negative of the app
- Quiz option should be broken down by category
The Project LAB app is a useful app for patients, students and physicians to have on their phones. It provides information on normal lab values and more specifically, what the lab values actually measure and their significance. The key aspect of this app that makes it intriguing is the differentials section.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Modern look but navigation can be confusing on iPhone version
- Multimedia Usage
$1.99; Content is worth the cost
- Real World Applicability
Content is useful for patients, students and physicians. If citations and references were added, we would have given it a 5
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 5, iPad Mini
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad