I am fan of evidence based medicine. Many of my articles for imedicalapps.com focus on the best EBM apps for use at the point of care. Recently we have evaluated apps to help you find the most current evidence such as Journal Scan Internal Medicine, BUSM-FIF, as well as appraise it using an app such as CASP. But what about apps that have done all of this for you already? Typically I recommend apps such as UpToDate, Dynamed Plus, Essential Evidence and Medscape. Unfortunately, these apps don’t always give specific details on study design, analysis, etc. and you have to go back to the original article which is very time consuming. Several apps have appeared that include detailed summaries of studies in an easy to navigate format. Some of my current favorites include MyStudies, Journal Club, and ICU Trials . These apps are like having a portable journal club in your pocket and some, especially Journal Club, have become very popular with our Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residents as tools to help them prepare for our residency’s journal club and attending precepting/pimping, in clinic and on the wards.
One of the newest apps that attempts to summarize critical literature in an easy to use format is Heart Evidence. This app was designed by two Internal Medicine Residents at the Englewood Residency Program, Icahn School of Medicine in NY. The app is focused solely on cardiac trials so may be too limited for some providers, but for most of us in primary care these are relevant trials.
When you open the app, you see a disclaimer and the table of contents which are divided into five key “heart medicine” categories: hypertension, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome and stable CAD/high CV risk. When you drill down into these categories, you come upon the individual “key” trials in these areas with very detailed summaries similar to what is found in the excellent Journal Club app. The data can also be viewed by management groups such as antiplatelets, lipid-lowering agents, etc. Finally, the data can be viewed as one list of trials, though not alphabetically for some reason. The app includes the ability to send feedback and suggest additional studies to include. The app also includes links to study abstracts on PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov and even guideline links such as JNC 8. Let’s try out Heart Medicine to see how well it works compared to some of the other journal club type apps.
Evidence based medicine
Heart Medicine is an outstanding EBM app for those seeking well written summaries of key studies in cardiovascular medicine. The template used to evaluate the studies is very complete and follows recommendations from organizations such as the Center of Evidence Based Medicine. However, the app clearly doesn’t include ALL studies in cardiovascular medicine and some old and more recent practice changers are not present at this time, but could be easily added in the future.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, any staff provider who is interested in quality summaries of the key literature in cardiovascular medicine.
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.
- Easy to use interface with multiple ways to interact with the information.
- Evidence summaries follow accepted critical appraisal strategies for RCTs, etc.
- Links throughout summaries to PubMed, guidelines, etc.
- Ability to send authors feedback, suggest new studies to include.
- App is limited to “heart medicine” which may be a drawback for some.
- Some key studies are not included.
- Unable to view studies/management categories alphabetically.
An outstanding EBM tool for reviewing key studies in the cardiovascular literature that is applicable to any provider who cares for patients with these conditions. A great tool for those in training and those well removed from training who want to keep up with the latest studies in cardiovascular medicine. The app is a real achievement for these residents who should be applauded for their efforts.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Simple to use interface with multiple viewing options, but alphabetical isn’t one of them.
- Multimedia Usage
App contains many links for more information, PubMed, etc. including feedback options.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
This is a must have app for those looking to keep up with cardiovascular medicine and want more detailed summaries of studies than what is usually found on otherwise outstanding EBM resources such as UpToDate, Dynamed Plus, etc.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6 running iOS 9.0.2
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad