While non-Apple designers of course are busy with Apps for Google Android devices, I’ve got an iPod so the following is Apple based.
NB: this is a very brief survey, but I hope it gives a flavour of what’s out there. Medical students and professionals were perhaps the biggest users of PDAs (and some still are), and iPhone/iPod [etc] devices are the natural successor, combining web access with downloadable Apps such as those here. I found all of these on Apple’s App Store on my iPod Touch.
Databases! You can search PubMed On Tap Lite for free and get a sample of records – with full-text sometimes – straight to your device. Or pay for an upgraded version with more ‘hits’. For doctors or students to check on the literature. Or a quick way to find egs if you’re a librarian doing database training.
Medical Calculation Apps: MediMath Medical Calculator (Evan Schoenberg, £2.99) means “…less time crunching numbers and more time caring for patients” goes the blurb. MarketWall’s Medical Calculator is the cheap-rate 59p. Handy on the ward for doctors and nurses on those drug rounds?
Reference-style: in a way what handy smartphone/Pod devices are for, to consult anytime, anywhere, quick ref on the ward or on the bus: download Anatomy atlases, guides to medical abbreviations, medical dictionaries and terminology texts, ECG guides … but check the reviews first. Quality – and usefulness – will vary!
Other Medical e-books. A limited range, but you can get, such as: Titles from the respected Oxford Handbook series (Oxford University Press), such as Clinical Medicine, General Practice, Anaesthesia … at around the same price as in print (£34.99 for Anaesthesia). MCQs for MRCP (Cranworth Medical Ltd: £9.99, special offer) has over 1,000 multiple-choice questions and a 5-star rating. Students can swot up before exams on a pocket device, when the books are out and they’ve logged off the PC for the NHS or our library e-books.
Also for Students: Medical Educator is recommended by users, with blogs, podcasts, video guides etc for revision, case histories, medical procedures, advice, particularly aimed at students preparing for OSCEs (that’s Objective Structured Clinical Exams (or practicals) to the rest of us, mainly for later-years undergrads and postgrads).
News: Medical News from doctors.net.uk is handy for keeping up-to-date with current topics and what the professionals are saying.
A hint from an expert. One tutor I spoke to uses Apps showing cell structures in 3D. I found 14 Apps searching under “Molecules”, such as Brad Larson’s Molecules (Sunset Lake Software). Watch those ratings though… An x-ray photography app (actually just a night-vision add-on for cameras [apparently]) hasn’t impressed: “this is an absolutely useless app” said one customer, speaking for all the reviewers I read; but it seems to have a 5-star rating. Busy radiographers aren’t likely to be using this, even with the current economic cutbacks.
Popular medicine: for the public. Eg: Baby Bump Pregnancy Free (Alt 12 Apps, LLC) . Pregnant women may or may not wish to “Track daily weight/waist measurements”, though they can “Connect with Moms and Dads, and share the journey”, and “Upgrade to Babybump Pro for the complete pregnancy experience”.
NB: there’s plenty of popular medical/health apps, but handle with care.
As my wife (a nurse) tells me when I’m ill, “See the doctor”.
Post by: Jon Andrews