Every provider needs a good medical calculator app. There is simply too much information to recall to waste precious neurons memorizing the Wells criteria, Ranson’s criteria, FENA, etc. Many of the top medical references such as UpToDate, DynamedPlus, Essential Evidence and Medscape contain many built in medical calculators. However, these can be time consuming to find and, depending on your subscription/resource, may require an internet/cellular connection. Previously on iMedicalApps we reviewed the top apps for family medicine and internal medicine. In the past, we recommended QxCalculate, MediMath and/or MedCalc (now MedCalx) as some of our favorite dedicated medical calculator apps. We have also named our top free medical calculator apps for the iPhone.
Many providers continue to use web based calculators. By far the most popular online medical calculator has been MDCalc. Founded over 10 years ago by Dr Graham Walker and Dr Joe Habboushe, MDCalc receives over 850,000 unique hits per month from all over the world. The website is known for its emphasis on evidence based medicine and clinical decision rules rather than just calculating a score. Recently here on iMedicalApps we interviewed the MDCalc physician team behind the MDCalc app. The MDCalc app is finally out and is free until 1 May 2016; let’s take a look.
Evidence based medicine
The evidence based medicine (EBM) components of the medical app are what really set MDCalc apart from its peers. QXCalculate is prettier (in my opinion) and MedCalx has more calculators, but neither contains a similar amount of EBM content. The MDCalc app gives brief summaries of the critical studies concerning the medical calculator, links to the studies on PubMed as well as “pearls/pitfall”, “next steps” and expert commentary from the authors of the calculators.
Who would benefit from this Medical App?
Students, nurses, residents, mid-levels, faculty in any specialty, every medical provider needs a good medical calculator app.
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.
- Free (until 1 May 2016)
- Simple to use interface with ability to adjust app settings, favorites, most recent, etc..
- Fantastic evidence based resources including synopses of derivation studies, links to key studies.
- “Pearls/Pitfalls” and “Next Step” sections to assist with proper use of calculator.
- Expert commentary by the actual authors of some of the calculators.
- Color scheme of interface may be “too” simple for some.
- Update required reloading of all calculators (see discussion of how app loads calculators here).
- No ability to view calculators by categories or other specialties simultaneously.
- Contains fewer calculators than some competitors.
- Not available for Android at this time.
- Login required (free to register).
Over the years I have used the MDCalc website, but eventually abandoned it for my favorite iPhone medical calculators–QxCalculate, MedCalc and MediMath. With the launch of the iPhone version of MDCalc, many users will find their favorite online calculator has been expertly recreated on the iOS platform. MDCalc is a beautiful medical app to use with outstanding evidence based content. This will become the “go-to” medical calculator for many. Get it now, while it is still free.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Great interface design and ease of use with ability to customize to “all” vs. “specialty-specific” apps. Interface is simple without much color which may turn some off.
- Multimedia Usage
MDCalc medical app has links to the MDCalc website for additional resources (qSOFA for example) and links to supporting articles for each calculator.
MDCalc medical app is free until May 1st, and then uncertain price increase will occur.
- Real World Applicability
MDCalc may become my new “go-to” medical calculator app. Its combination of common and important calculators, expert content (pearls/pitfalls, next steps, etc.), and commentary from original calculator authors makes it hard to beat.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2.1
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad