Most physicians suffer from TMI: Too Much Information! Did you know that Medline indexes over 2,000 articles/day? Did you know that in just the primary care literature, over 8,000 articles are published each month? If it takes 30 min to read an article and critically appraise it and you read continuously for 16 hours/day, you would be 2 months behind in 1 day, 3 months if you stopped to eat! The bottom-line is that you simply cannot keep up. Many of our reviews on imedicalapps discuss apps that can help with this process. In my prior review of CASP, an app that helps providers perform formal critical appraisal, we discussed the concept of information mastery.
Information Mastery is a concept coined by evidence based medicine (EBM) experts in the US, Canada and the UK. In the US, Information Mastery was championed by Slawson and Shaughnessy who described the vast medical literature as a “jungle” and used the metaphors of “foraging” and “hunting” to navigate that environment. If you wanted to find an answer to a specific question, you needed a “hunting” tool such as UpToDate, Dynamed or Essential Evidence Plus. If you wanted to just wander thru the jungle and see what was new you would use a “foraging” tool such as the DailyPOEM, Prescriber’s Letter or Journal Watch. In short, hunting tools help you answer clinical questions at the point of care and foraging tools alert you to new information.
For many, formal critical appraisal is simply too much for a busy medical professional. Other alternatives are to simply review the table of contents of high impact factor journals like the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Lancet, British Medical Journal (BMJ), etc. Many journals allow you to subscribe to just the table of contents which are emailed to you periodically for free. Today’s app review examines Journal Scan Internal Medicine. This app brings together the tables of contents of some of the highest impact factor journals in Internal Medicine. The app allows you to scan what has been published in these journals, view their abstracts and favorite those articles you want to explore further. Let’s take a look at Journal Scan in action.
Evidence based medicine
No doubt that the app contains evidence based medicine as it lists the table of contents of several top journals in internal medicine. The app only contains three by default and the possibility to add two more. Why not more? It does permit users to add specific RSS feeds and PubMed searches.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, any internal medicine or family medicine provider who wants to keep up with the medical literature.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Great aggregator idea to bring these tables of contents together by specialty.
- App allows users to add RSS feeds, specific PubMed searches that bring stuff up to date.
- Contains the top 5 highest impact journals in internal medicine.
- App constantly crashes when trying to add new journals, feeds or sort order.
- No ability to add other high impact journals–or other journals from other specialties.
- Basic interface that was underwhelming despite funding from Merck.
- Not available for Android.
An interesting foraging tool that could replace some providers’ email spam of various journal’s table of contents; however, the user interface and app crashes limits use currently. Finally, other more robust journal aggregators such as Read, BrowZine, and Docphin bring more to the table by allowing more user specialization and full text journal article retrieval using institutional access.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Basic, but unflattering UI with too many crashes.
- Multimedia Usage
Great concept and functional. Would be even better with institutional access for full journal article review.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
Better more robust alternatives exist for the same price. Even so, I think the app has some potential to be a basic free app that does one thing well. Unfortunately, the app’s interface and constant crashing make it difficult to strongly recommend.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6 running iOS 8.4
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad