One of the most common tasks during my clinic day is to ensure my patients are up to date on their vaccinations. From well child visits to sports physicals to routine obstetric appointments to annual exams in my geriatric patients, each group has their own specific vaccine recommendations. For many of our clinic’s nursing staff, residents and faculty, the myriad of vaccines and administration schedules can lead to confusion. Existing vaccination apps such as Shots by STFM, CDV Vaccines , ACP Immunization Advisor, and PneumoVaccines do an outstanding job in educating providers and clinic and hospital staff about vaccines.
The latest entry into the vaccine app club on iPhone is Dr Gary Marshall’s “purple book”, The Vaccine Handbook. This 433 page textbook on vaccinations, now in its fifth edition, is considered by many pediatricians to be the authoritative text on vaccines. The medical app contains the entire textbook from Dr Marshall and numerous links to tables and charts from the book, links to numerous vaccination resources, videos, handouts, etc. The best part is that all of this is free–or is it? The medical app is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur and in the disclosure agreement when you sign up to open the vaccination app the first time, it clearly states that you will be reported as accepting a gift from Sanofi under the Sunshine Act.
Evidence based medicine
The Vaccine Handbook AKA the “Purple Book” incorporates the most current vaccines guidelines published by the ACIP and the CDC in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly including the 2016 updates. However, the real appeal of the medical app is the abundant additional information on vaccines from a world renowned authority on vaccines, Dr Gary Marshall. The medical app contains an entire textbook covering everything from the basics of vaccinology to addressing vaccine concerns to the 101 about various infectious diseases and the vaccines available against them.
What providers would benefit from this Vaccine App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Nursing Staff and any provider who administers child or adult immunizations.
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* (see below)
- Contains the current ACIP and CDC vaccine recs.
- Abundant information about all things vaccines from the science of how they work to talking to parents about vaccines.
- Shortcuts to handy tables from the textbook.
- Many links to other vaccine agencies and videos on vaccines, patient handouts, etc.
- Medical App requires personal information to download and significant pharma branding.
- Sanofi Pasteur reports you under Sunshine Act for accepting the app for free.
- Medical App interface can be busy and somewhat challenging to navigate the textbook at times.
- Not available for Android.
The vaccine handbook app itself and its content are outstanding. Dr Marshall is a revered pediatrician whose “purple book” is well known to many. However, in the attempt to bring the medical app to all for free, the app is underwritten by Sanofi Pasteur who makes it clear in the disclosure that your information will be provided under the Sunshine Act as accepting this “gift” of an app. I find that unfortunate to say the least.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Occasionally busy, the interface is still easy to navigate and includes “shortcuts” to many sections of the book, tables, links, etc.
- Multimedia Usage
The app contains many links and quality tables, PDF’s, videos, etc. The app makes the rather large textbook easy to navigate.
Medical App is free.* (fine print states that your info is reported under the Sunshine Act if you download it)
- Real World Applicability
A fantastic resource for providers on all things vaccines from a reputable source. Too bad the app is free only due to drug company funding.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad