Mobile medical apps have made the practice of evidence-based medicine at the point of care more convenient. The apps provide healthcare professionals with portability, rapid access to information and multimedia resources, easy and quick communication with patients and peers, and more.
One of the biggest benefits of mobile technologies is replacing bulky medical textbooks with mobile devices and apps.
Health care professionals and students can rapidly access information from their portable devices. They don't have to waste time running to the library or carrying bulky medical books around.
All of the information found in standard medical textbooks and other necessary references can be carried in one small device that fits in a lab-coat pocket.
Most of these apps are intended to be used as reference materials and are not intended for use in the clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the diseases or other conditions, or to replace the judgment of clinical personnel.
There is a plenty of mobile apps that brought medical textbooks to smarthphones and tablets. Here, we listed some of the best.
A comprehensive trusted medical reference is what every healthcare professional needs to support their practice.
The Merck Manual, first published in 1899, remains one of the essential reference texts that has been widely used for years by both healthcare professionals and consumers (patients).
In 2014, the Merck Manuals (for professional and consumers) decides to go digital-only, with one exception - publishing the 20th Edition in print format in 2018.
These Merck Manuals became available as mobile apps: The Merck Manual for Consumers (mobile version of Home edition for patients) and Merck Manual Professional (for physicians, students, nurses, etc.).
With the mobile app, the users get all the content, which includes a plethora of medical topics, clinical calculators, videos, and much more for free. Yes, that's right.
Once a paid app which was available for $29.99, the Merck Manual Pro (as well as other Merck Manual apps) became free, which is the first great thing about this app.
The second great thing is the amount of information you get (about 300MB), so keep in mind to enable the WiFi and have enough space on your device storage.
The third great thing about the Merck Manual Professional app is the trustworthy information written by over 300 medical experts, which is also well-referenced and well-interlinked for easier use. This makes the app extremely handy to use at the point of care.
Sanford Guide - Antimicrobial Rx App
Next year, the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy will mark their 50th anniversary. Since 1969, this guide has been the leading clinical reference for treatment of infectious diseases with various antibiotics, important but often misused drugs.
The Sanford Guide was also turned into a mobile app with a goal to provide a quick, reliable, evidence-based medical information at the point of care.
Similar to its textbook version, the app provides clinical syndromes, pathogens, anti-infective agents (including dosing, adverse effects, pharmacology, interactions, and more), specialized dosing tables and tools, calculators, and more.
The Sanford Guide app is free to download on Android and iOS, however, it requires the yearly subscription of $29.99.
With thousands of drugs available on the market, and new medications being added to that list each year, finding the best treatment option for each patient can be overwhelming for healthcare professionals.
Another problem in determining the best treatment option is individual clinical characteristics of each patient that may affect the optimal treatment option.
This is the reason why healthcare professionals need to evaluate all medication options that include an extensive range of drug classes, when making a choice regarding the best management plan for their patients.
Generations of healthcare providers have been using the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR), a trusted source of the most current medical information to support drug prescribing decisions and improve patient medication adherence.
Besides the classic hardcover-bound book, this clinician reference is also available as the mobilePDR app that brings credible prescribing information to the smartphones and tablets.
Healthcare professionals can download this app for free and easily and quickly access the detailed drug information, compare drugs and choose the best for their patients, check interactions between drugs, and identify unlabeled pills.
The app requires an Internet connection in order to work and doesn't provide a comprehensive database information.
Tarascon Pharmacopoeia App
The Tarascon Pharmacopoeia is another trusted portable drug reference which is popular among the healthcare professionals, intended to provide detailed information on thousands of drugs to help clinicians make better decisions at the point of care.
It includes information on variety or medications, as well as herbal products and supplements, with dosing, generic and brand formulations, safety in pregnancy and lactation, and more.
The drug information in the app is peer-reviewed by drug information experts and practicing clinicians of multiple specialties.
The Tarascon Pharmacopoeia app requires a subscription of $39.99 for one year of continuous content updates.
Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology App
Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology is the world's leading resource on human physiology which is also available for mobile devices.
The versions for iOS and Android differ, and they're not made by the same company.
The iOS version of Ganong's Review basically provides the same content as the book, with the addition of a complete set of medical calculators, including Body Mass Index, Peak Expiratory Flows, Dehydration Correction Calculator, and more, as well as more than 600 full-color high-resolution images.
Accessing information in this app is easier thanks to search and bookmark options. New features include an increased number of clinical cases and flow charts.
On the other hand, the Android version of the app is an interactive study guide for students to prepare for medical physiology course exams and the USMLE, which is based on the full content of the 'Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology' textbook.
This version contains more than 350 Q&A with detailed answer explanations and numerous full-color illustrations.
This app is easy to navigate, allowing users to browse the contents or search for topics, as well as create notes and bookmarks for easier access, and save their progress in each chapter. The app requires no internet connection.
The iOS version of the Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology costs $64.99, while the Android version costs $59.99.
Oxford Handbook Apps
The Oxford Medical Handbooks are the series of pocket handbooks published from 1985. The series is written for a broad medical readership, from physicians, students, junior doctors and specialist trainees, to nurses, dentists, and many other health professionals.
In almost 60 years, the series has grown to around 50 books, covering medical specialties from pediatrics to geriatric medicine, and more.
These Oxford Medical Handbooks are also available as mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android, bringing the Handbooks' content into an easy-to-read format that can be accessed on the go.
Some of these apps are free, such as Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology or Oxford Handbook of Clinical Pharmacy, while many of the apps in this series require payment ranging from $32 to $99.