It’s been yet another busy year for medical app developers across both iOS and Android platforms. Some of the best medical apps we wrote about were patient-based, but there still were many notable medical apps for providers to use at the point of care.
To make it easier for you to wade through the thousands of releases over the past 12 months, iMedicalApps has rounded up the top medical apps of 2017 — in no particular order.
Best Medical Apps of 2017
1. American College of Cardiology (ACC) Apps
Our first selection for the best medical app of 2017 is actually a suite of apps produced by the ACC. Previously on iMedicalApps, we reviewed their outstanding ASCVD and Anticoag Evaluator apps. In 2017, they fired off a trifecta of stellar apps: DAPT calculator, BridgeAnticoag, and LDL-C Manager. The last combines all three of their cholesterol apps in one: ASCVD, Statin Intolerance, LDL-C Lowering Therapy
Not an app, but a family physician who develops some of the best medical apps for primary care. 2017 was no exception with several new apps, including Contraception, Health Maintenance Visit Checklist, and updates to Pneumonia Guide and ABG Eval. Plus, many of his apps are now available for Android. This time he teamed up with Dr. Katherine Holmes from the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) to create a quick reference app for students, residents, and faculty in primary care. Over the past 18 months, he has released many apps that we have reviewed here on iMedicalApps: PneumoVaccines, Depo Calendar, OB Wheels, Gout Diagnosis, Health Maintenance Visits, and Step-by-Step Febrile Infant. Other useful point-of-care apps by Dr. Steinberg include PreopEval14, PFT Eval, EFM Guide, PE & DVT Dx Tool, and our favorite — Pneumonia Guide.
The CDC released an app summarizing their 2016 opioid guideline. CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline 2016 also contains a morphine equivalency calculator, glossary, and an entire section on how to perform motivational interviewing with pain patients.
4. Sepsis Timer
ESCAVO has done it again by creating a new app called Sepsis Time that takes the Sepsis 3.0 guideline and accepted sepsis bundles from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and puts them into a checklist-style format. The goal is to ensure the septic patient in front of you has evidence-based treatments implemented with 3- and 6-hour cut-offs. These include prompt antibiotics, IVF, labs, pressors, etc. By utilizing the hardware in the iPhone, Sepsis Timer uses timer functions and reminders to help you track patients from the moment of diagnosis until all critical tasks are completed. Furthermore, the app provides expert commentary and detailed explanations of the guidelines throughout the step-by-step checklist.
The latest pregnancy apps to come along are called P&M Pregnancy Passport and UW Baby. The apps are identical in most ways (same exact content other than the hospitals/providers listed for patient information). Similar to Sprout Pregnancy and others, they allow patients to create their own profiles, track visits, journal, track obstetric statistics, and utilize built-in kick counter and contraction timer. The app also allows patients to make appointments, contact their providers and receive reminders. We expect to see a lot of practices utilize the content from the company behind both of these apps.
Here at iMedicalApps we have reviewed lots of geriatrics apps. Many are from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) like Geriatrics at Your Fingertips, Multimorbidity/MCC GEMS, iGeriatrics, and AGS GEMS. One of the latest apps for Alzheimer’s disease is called AlzDxRx and was developed by the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation. The purpose of the app is to help providers screen, diagnose, and manage patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
AlzDxRx doesn’t contain references for any of its content but states online that it is developed from evidence-based guidelines with input from neurologists, geriatricians, etc. The app contains a reasonable algorithm for the diagnosis and management of the Alzheimer’s disease and includes built-in calculators for some of the most common screening tests such as the Mini-Cog.
Choosing Wisely — an initiative created by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation — has recruited over 70 medical societies, associations, and partner groups to list common medical tests/procedures that are often clinically unnecessary. The American Academy of Family Physicians, for example, does not recommend imaging for low back pain in the first 6 weeks, unless the patient has red flags. Guidance on these types of decisions can be found piecemeal via the Choosing Wisely Campaign website.
Choosing Wisely partnered with Consumer Reports to create a website as well as videos and downloadable materials for patients and providers covering most of the Choosing Wisely recommendations. Previously, we reviewed their app primarily designed for patients called Making Healthy Choices. Additionally, they have launched a new iOS app called Choosing Wisely mainly for providers to access these practice recommendations on the go.
Today in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria an injured U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine has the best possible chance of survival in the history of armed conflict. The current rate of survival of over 92% for combat injuries is astounding. The reasons for the high-survival rate are multifactorial from better protection in vehicles and personal protective gear such as body armor, to rapid evacuation times to access to quality combat surgery and forward blood products. However, one of the most effective has been the systematic use of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) guidelines.
Variants of these guidelines are taught to every military member, such as how to use a tourniquet, to more advanced treatments such as needle decompression and administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) by medics to casualty care at Role I/Role II and Combat Support Hospitals. This standardization of treatment has revolutionized military medicine and saved countless lives. Previously, these guidelines were only available online, but now the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the committee that produces the TC3 guidelines have created an app for providers. This app contains the entire guideline along with videos of every combat medicine procedure from tourniquets to chest tubes along with study guides and podcasts all in one app.
9. GOLD COPD 2017 Pocket Guide
Previously on iMedicalApps, we favorably reviewed the COPD Pocket Consultant app by GlaxoSmithKline. Despite its Big Pharma backing, the app was the only one available that included a number of the COPD symptom questionnaires such as the COPD Assessment Test (CAT).
The app includes the current “gold standard” GOLD COPD guidelines released in 2017 in app form.
If you have any other suggestions for this year’s best medical apps, let us know in the comments.
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.