Mobile apps are becoming beneficial in Family Practice, contributes to collaboration between physicians, as well as between physicians and their patients.
Many family practitioners use mobile devices and apps primarily to access reference materials, ranging from simple text-based resources, to more complex and interactive learning tools.
Here, we list some essential apps that Family Practice Physicians should have installed on their phones.
After completing the theoretical part of their medical education, medical students proceed to the clinical phase of their education (clerkship), consisted of many rotations with variable duration and lodging accommodations, depending on the program. Some of these programs require students to log each patient care experience and complete evaluations at the end of each rotation, which could be difficult, since there are a lot of notes to take.
Dr Scott Moses, a family physician from Minnesota, decided to gather all of his notes and publish them onto his website called Family Practice Notebook.
Meanwhile, he also developed a mobile app with the same name that brings a collection of over 6000 interlinked topic pages divided into a tree of 31 specialty books and over 700 chapters to iPhone and Android devices.
Books cover broad range of specialties, including cardiovascular medicine, dermatology, emergency medicine, pediatrics, surgery and many more.
Each of the books is broken down with the chapters, which are broken down further with headings, which can all make navigation a bit inconvenient.
Family Practice Notebook app covers a wide range of topics, which makes it a perfect, invaluable point-of-care reference for family physicians, as well as primary care and emergency providers.
Family Practice Guidelines App
Family physicians need to stay on top of the current family practice clinical guidelines, procedures, and patient teaching guides. One of the most used and best known sources is acclaimed book "Family Practice Guidelines", which brings all the recommendations in one place.
Knowing the importance of on-demand access to all necessary information, the authors ported their book to mobile devices and created highly portable resource that delivers comprehensive, concise, and well-organized guidelines in one place, with a goal to assist primary care clinicians in delivering the best possible patient care.
The app covers 20 topic areas and a wealth of crucial information and allows Family Physicians to explain the conditions to their patients much easier thatnks to the ability to share patient teaching guides.
Family Practice Guidelines app doesn't require Internet connection for accessing all the resources. However, it's only available for iPhone.
Our score: N/A
American Family Physician App
Another well-known resource among Family Practitioners is American Family Physician, the preeminent medical journal for primary care, which delivers concise, easy-to-read clinical reviews for physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The American Family Physician journal is also available as mobile app for Android and iPhone, providing physicians with articles that about the latest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine.
It requires Internet connection for downloading the articles and news, which can be accessed later and read offline. While it's available for free, the app requires paid subscription at the price of $16.99 for a monthly subscription, or $29.99 for a single issue.
Many patients occasionally require medical procedures during their regular visits to primary care. Many of these procedures, from minor skin interventions and ultrasound to more complex procedures, such as colposcopy or vasectomy, can be performed by general practitioner, family physician, or pediatrician in an office setting.
Being educated about the most common procedures in Family Medicine is essential for all providers who may be required to perform them in their daily practice.
Most providers use textbooks and literature to learn about these procedures, even the highly complex ones. However, there are many mobile apps that can provide Family Physicians, primary care providers, as well as residents and medical students with essential information about various medical procedures in form of text, graphic, interactive content and instructional videos.
Proceducate is one of those apps, which was developed by two family physicians as a part of a pilot study by the University of Toronto, with a goal to improve the teaching and learning experience for minor procedures in Family Medicine.
The app includes high quality instructional videos explaining suturing methods, foundational skills and some minor procedures such as joint aspiration/injection, biopsies, cryotherapy and toenail management, as well as gynecological procedures explaining Mirena IUD insertion, speculum examination with Pap and perineal laceration repair.
Although the Proceducate app doesn't cover wide range of procedures, it is still amazing supplemental method in teaching and learning common medical procedures.
5-Minute Clinical Consult (5MCC) app is developed by Unbound Medicine with a goal to provide Family Physicians and other healthcare providers with a quick access to the information on how to diagnose, treat, and follow up with patients, as well as information on various medications and associated conditions.
The app covers more than 1,100 medical conditions and 200 pediatric topics. It contains over 100 full-color dermatology images, 150+ algorithm diagrams, ICD-10 codes, and Diagnosaurus DDx with more than 1,000 differential diagnoses, which is also available as a separate medical app.
All of the app's features are only available after purchasing a full version for $99.95. The 5MCC app however, enables users to try it using free preview before purchase, which doesn't include all features, such as pediatric conditions, as well as Diagnosaurus.
5MCC app provides thousands of topics, with great share of information that is well-referenced, but many physicians may find its full price a bit too much, especially because it doesn't offer interactive interface, more decision support functionalities and built-in calculators.
Empowering the patients to take control of their own health is one of the most important tasks of every Family Physician. Many chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise, and staying away from tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.
Healthcare professionals, including Family Physicians, play a crucial role in promotion of healthier lifestyle and prevention of diseases, but they often need help and guidance from reputable and trusted sources.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) established by a U.S. government is one of the best known sources that support research in order to help improve the quality of health care through health promotion and disease prevention.
AHRQ introduced Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS), which is a quick, practical tool, based on the current, evidence-based recommendations for primary care clinicians and health care teams, helping them identify, prioritize and offer the screening, counseling and preventive medication services to their patients.
AHRQ also developed a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices named AHRQ ePSS, which offers the same features as their web-based ePSS tool. It's invaluable resource for healthcare providers, providing them with evidence-based recommendations for better screening, counseling, treatment and prevention.