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Table of Contents

This article focuses on some of the most useful free Android apps out there that Neurologists should be using.

Oh me nerves is gone (loc.): chief complaint in Newfoundland
Neurologist (n.): a doc with a fork and a hammer
Neuro APPT (n.): an appointment with a doc armed with a fork and a hammer
Neuro APP (n.): a modern tool for a doc armed with a fork and a hammer

Let's start with the tools of the trade.

Neurology Exam Tools App

This is a multipurpose app that combines a torch, a bell, and a tuning fork. All you need to do is to tap on the respective icon.

Torch

The beam of light comes out of the camera LED flash on the back of the phone. It is very bright. I almost blinded myself. (For those who are not aware: in the Galaxy S 5-7, the flash LED also serves as a heart rate sensor. Heart rate can be checked via the “S Health” app. Just cover the flash LED with a finger and tap on the “monitor” in the app.

Bell

The volume is regulated by the “Media volume” button on the phone. Here are possible uses for the bell at X-mas time:

1.     Wearing a lab coat, pose as a bell ringer next to the "Salvation Army" Santa.

2.     Play the “Jingle Bells” melody with colleagues. It is hard to do solo (I spent an hour trying), but it could be achieved by using two or three phones.

Tuning fork

Don’t forget to enable the "Vibration" option on the phone.

Hammer (a suggestion on my part)

If your phone is encased in heavy metal, use it as a reflex hammer. The "Armor King" aluminum case brings the weight of the Galaxy S 5 up to 250 grams. At one institution, security was debating whether my phone could be used as a weapon, until I lost my patience and told them to hold on to the blasted case for the duration of my visit.

The app also contains the “Neuro Exam Guide” with clinical measurement references, and the SLUMS Mental Status Exam. The latter is equipped with two useful features: a timer for the naming section (“name as many animals as you can in 1 min”) and both text and audio for the “Story” section. (The story is very short, followed by four questions about its details).

The Verdict: A must-have app.

The Best Educational App

Prognosis : Neurology

The app contains 28 neurology cases which have to be downloaded separately. Once it’s done, they can be accessed offline. The cases have fitting names, such as “Stiff” for Parkinson’s disease or “Sparkly” for migraine.

The history and physical are provided, after which a user has to select diagnostic tests and management options. The app is very stubborn: if a case is failed, it insists on trying again (and again) until you are able to complete it to satisfaction. Each case is discussed in great detail. At the end, the “take home messages” are summarized, and an extensive list of references is provided. In the final “Comments” section, docs argue about the appropriateness of a certain investigative procedure or treatment.

The Verdict: An excellent educational app. It might be prudent to add a few new cases now and then. Nonetheless, it is definitely one of the best.

The Best Reference App

5 Minutes Neurology

This is a reference e-book rather than an app, very comprehensive but a bit inconvenient to navigate. It is divided into four sections: “Neurological Symptoms and Signs”, “Diagnostic Tests”, “Diseases and Disorders, and “Short topics”. The latter gives a brief description of syndromes not covered elsewhere in the book. Each topic is no more than two pages long, and one page fits the screen. Unless you have the eyesight of an eagle (which is 4-8 times stronger than that of a non-bespectacled doctor), the pages have to be zoomed in. It would be better to make the book more app-like and add links to each portion of an article (“description” or “epidemiology”), so that they could be accessed individually in a larger font.

The Verdict: Content-wise, the app is very good, but the interface could be improved.

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