Who doesn’t like a good medical algorithm? Algorithms can save providers valuable time, simplify work-ups, and ensure patients get “standardized” care. On the negative side, algorithms are frequently viewed as “cookbook medicine” and restrictive of free thinking and the “art of medicine”. For many busy primary care providers who quickly want to “retrace” the proper work-up for a medical condition or the differential diagnosis for a common complaint, algorithms can be a huge blessing. From provider and nursing-driven protocols to telemedicine, not to mention commercial applications, algorithms seem to be everywhere. There are entire websites and businesses dedicated to medical algorithms. The American Academy of Family Physicians has a link to a collection of medical algorithms on their website.
Many of the apps we have reviewed here on iMedicalApps either contain or are medical algorithms. Most medical calculator and decision support apps, such as MDCalc, are really algorithm apps. We recently reviewed the 2016 AACE Osteoporosis Algorithm and the Natural Cycles apps among many others–all contain medical algorithms. However, I didn’t have a dedicated app of just thousands of medical algorithms. AlgoMed is a new app that attempts to fill this void by bringing together over 1,000 medical algorithms, across 23 categories, into one easy-to-use app. The app is reportedly written by providers for providers, but the app website is scant on details.
Evidence based medicine
The app includes over 1,000 medical algorithms, across 23 medical categories, from anesthesiology to urology. Information about the app available on the AlgoMed website states it is written by physicians and medical experts in their respective fields. However, no author information is given for any of the algorithms or references for their content or date the algorithm was last updated.
Who would benefit from this App?
Any healthcare provider including students, NP’s, PA’s, any specialty, but especially primary care providers who want quick access to medical information at the point of care.
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 to download. In-app purchases to unlock categories $1.99/each category (or $14.99 for all 1,000+ algorithms in 23 categories).
- Great app concept for collection of medical algorithms.
- Easy to navigate, search and refine results.
- Algorithms mostly easy to read/follow.
- Price, need to purchase each category; no discount for “all” algorithms available.
- No references or author information for algorithms.
- Not available for Android currently.
AlgoMed is an intriguing new app that attempts to put over 1,000 high-quality medical algorithms, from 23 different medical categories, into one mobile app. The advantage of such an app is the ability to “cut to the chase” and avoid tons of text in a medical text or reference such as UpToDate or Dynamed. However, the app is limited not only by the number of algorithms currently offered, but their pricing structure and lack of references/author information for each algorithm. Hopefully it will improve with updates, but challenging to highly recommend in its current form–especially since not available for Android.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use interface with mostly easy to read algorithms. Best to use largest screen mobile device you have (iOS only).
- Multimedia Usage
App includes many free high quality algorithms, but no references, dates, or author information for the algorithms are included.
App is free to download, but $1.99 per category to unlock additional algorithms.
- Real World Applicability
I certainly can see the real world applicability of an app such as AlgoMed. You could quickly access over 1,000 medical algorithms for quick on the go decision making without searching through loads of text. However, in its current format without references and pricing structure of $1.99 per category, the app isn’t practical enough to supplant more common references.
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad