Hepatitis is a feared medical condition due to the risk of fulminant liver failure, hepatic carcinoma, and concerns for liver transplantation. Previously, hepatitis B and C were considered incurable and frequently fatal diseases. In the last 5 years, the treatment of hepatitis has reached new medical heights, and now both can be completely cured. No longer in the scope of only gastroenterology and infectious disease specialists, primary care providers are now frequently called upon to initiate and monitor treatment of patients with hepatitis B and C and have similar outcomes to specialists. In the meantime, hepatitis A and B can be prevented by highly efficacious vaccines and we continue to learn more about hepatitis D and E. The cure for hepatitis B/C doesn’t come cheap — as just several weeks of treatment can be nearly $100K. However, considering the cost of untreated hepatitis C and/or complications from cirrhosis to cancer, the treatment is likely cost-effective.
So what are the best resources for providers (especially those in primary care) regarding the treatment of hepatitis? You certainly can use reference apps such as UpToDate, DynaMed or Essential Evidence Plus. The issue with the reference apps is that in order to find what you are looking for you have to dig through excellent, but unnecessary, text in UpToDate or DynaMed to drill down to the information you need. For hepatitis C, the free online guidelines by the IDSA and others can be located here.
But what about an app for hepatitis? For years, I have been recommending the outstanding Johns Hopkins ABX Guide or the equally excellent Sanford Guide. As a military provider, I have the deepest respect for the late Dr. Jay Sanford for his years of service in the US Army and as Dean and President of the Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy is just one of several guides the company publishes. They also have an HIV Therapy Guide and a Hepatitis Therapy Guide which is the subject of this review. The information in the hepatitis guide appears to be the same information in their complete antimicrobial guide but rearranged a bit differently. The guide is divided into sections based on the type of infectious hepatitis (A-E) with dedicated sections on prevention, dosing calculators, and drug information.
The Sanford Guide to Hepatitis Therapy is a mini-version of the full Sanford Guide devoted solely to the evaluation and management of various hepatitis infections. The app contains the latest expert guidelines from various societies on hepatitis B, C treatment. The app contains numerous hyperlinks to additional evidence-based references and is extensively hyperlinked within the app itself for pharmaceutical treatments.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, hospitalists, infectious disease specialists, gastroenterologists, nurses, any staff provider who cares for patients with hepatitis.
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.
- Interface is easy to use, with detailed coverage of all common hepatitis viruses
- Available for Android
- Includes numerous calculators, sections on prevention, prophylaxis, and vaccines
- Nothing really “extra” offered in the hepatitis guide compared to the regular Sanford Guide
- May not be detailed enough for providers used to UpToDate and DynaMed
- Some charts/tables are not easily read on the smaller smartphone screen
The Sanford Guide to Hepatitis Therapy is an excellent addition to the Sanford family of apps with a sole focus on all things hepatitis. However, if you already own the “full” Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy, there really is not much additionally offered in the Sanford Hepatitis Guide.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Simple to use interface with universal search with easy to create bookmarks.
- Multimedia Usage
Extensive hyperlinking within the app between pathogens and antimicrobials with links to key references and guidelines. Includes numerous calculators.
App is $9.99/year which may not be worth it for those with subscriptions to the Sanford Guide/Sanford Collection.
- Real World Applicability
If you have the “full” Sanford Guide, you likely do not need the additional hepatitis guide as much of the information is the same. For those focused solely on hepatitis evaluation and management, the Sanford Guide to Hepatitis Therapy is an excellent detailed and reasonably priced option.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.2.6
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad