Whenever I lecture on medical apps, I always tell the audience the importance of a dedicated infectious disease guide. Traditional drug guides like Epocrates or Lexicomp or reference apps such as UpToDate, Dynamed or Essential Evidence Plus are not sufficient due to issues with accuracy and/or convenience. So for years, I have been recommending the outstanding Johns Hopkins ABX Guide — the infectious disease app of choice in our opinion — or the equally excellent Sanford Guide. One of these two apps is essential for most practicing physicians. However, their price and content may be both too advanced and too simplistic for pharmacy and medical students. These learners (and resident physicians) may still need “the basics” of antimicrobial pharmacotherapy. Without that foundation, practicing clinicians may never fully comprehend why they are choosing (or looking up and picking) one drug/class of drug over another.
The authors of the popular “Antibiotics Simplified” handbook are both pharmacy professors at reputable U.S. pharmacy schools. The handbook is now in its fourth edition and latest versions are now available for both iOS and Android. The Antibiotics Simplified app functions as a quick reference guide to the handbook. The app reviews the basics of microbiology and how pharmacotherapy applies to patients with infectious diseases. The app contents are broken down in broad categories from antibacterial to antiviral to antifungal therapy. The app contains detailed yet concise drug class reviews and medications for everything from HIV to Hepatitis C.
Antibiotics Simplified is the app version of the 4th edition of the popular handbook. Both are from pharmacy faculty and students at Temple University and the University of California, San Francisco. The app lacks a true reference section, but the expertise of the authors and history of the handbook are noteworthy and extremely credible. The app provides an excellent review of the basic sciences while bringing together the clinical practice of infectious disease treatment.
What providers would benefit from this medical app?
Pharmacy and medical students, residents, mid-levels, hospitalists, infectious disease specialists, any provider interested in the pharmacotherapy of infectious disease medications.
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 classes of antimicrobials
- Available for Android
- Includes numerous figures and tables that are easy to use/view on mobile devices
- Not as much content as the book version, but substantially cheaper
- May not be detailed enough for providers used to Sanford/Hopkins
- Price may not be worth it for some
Antibiotics Simplified is a great app for those just learning about antimicrobial therapy for the first time and/or those who want to review the “basics” of pharmacotherapy as it applies to infectious diseases. The content and construction of the app is first rate and a pleasure to read.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Simple to use interface with quick navigation and internal links to tables/figures.
- Multimedia Usage
Excellent figures and tables throughout the app that are easy to read on a mobile device.
App is $9.99 which may not be worth it for those with subscriptions to the Sanford Guide and/or Hopkins Guide. App is still cheaper than the book however.
- Real World Applicability
If you are a pharmacy or medical student, resident physician or anyone interested in the intersection of pharmacology and clinical practice, then Antibiotics Simplfied is worth a look. As an app, it is substantially cheaper than the print version. For most primary care providers, I would still recommend sticking with Sanford or Hopkins antimicrobial guides.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.4
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad