Most healthcare professionals working in emergency medicine nowadays, use smartphones and tablets in their daily practice. Mobile devices enable easier access to medical content, reviews, algorithms, clinical calculators, and decision support tools, and they're now basically essential tools when treating patients in emergency situations, especially those able to connect to EMR.
Numerous mobile apps designed specifically for emergency medicine, help healthcare professionals provide better care and improve a patient's experience.
Choosing the right emergency medicine app depends on your needs. Some of the apps will allow you to review your EM knowledge at a glance, while the others will help you make critical decisions in the emergency situations.
Some apps provides single but essential feature, such as particular medical calculator, and other EM apps are multifunctional including various tools.
Many attending physicians, residents, and medical students choose AgileMD mobile app for Android and iOS devices that provides quick reference guidelines and protocols for common emergency medicine topics.
Formerly known as R.E.B.E.L. EM, AgileMD app allows healthcare providers to access trusted point-of-care handbooks, clinical protocols, treatment guidelines, and care notes across multiple specialties.
The app requires users to register an account before proceeding, which is simple and quick. Users need to provide name, email address, as well as their medical profession and specialty.
After completing the registration users are taken to the home screen with clean and simple design, and pleasant color scheme. Some might think that AgileMD app is too simple, but that's the whole point of emergency apps. Users don't have to wander around looking for the content; everything is available at their fingertips right from the home screen.
The AgileMD app includes only one starter resource by default. It's the ALiEM PV cards written by Michelle Lin, MD, based on her blog Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM).
ALiEM include more than 100 cards that provide guides for numerous emergencies encountered in the emergency department for multiple specialties, including allergy, cardiovascular, pediatric, neurology, and many others.
There is a topic count beside each specialty showing how many emergencies have been covered. For example, in the current version of the app, most topics (43 of them) belong to the cardiovascular category.
Here you'll find cards for assessing cardiac emergencies, check algorithms that would help you make clinical based decisions, for example using ACLS algorithm for cardiac arrest, or CHADS2 score when deciding on anticoagulation therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation, reviewing ECG in electrolyte imbalance, choosing the right vasopressor agent for hypotension, etc.
ALiEM cards also provide useful guidelines and algorithms for other specialties. For example providers can check pediatric assessment triangle in case of pediatric emergencies, or read guidelines for pediatric fever without source based on child's age. They could also learn more about initial pain management option in emergency department, or use GOAL directed resuscitation algorithm in sepsis.
All content within ALiEM cards is provided in concise manner, emphasizing the most critical points, which is crucial in emergency setting. Content is also well-referenced usually linking to PubMed articles.
Besides ALiEM emergency cards, users can add other resources either by tapping on 'Explore All Resources' on the home screen, or Library icon in the footer.
The app would list all available resources grouped by specialties. Some specialties have only one resource, such as Anesthesiology or Dermatology, while others like Emergency, Family and Internal Medicine include several resources (some of them repeat in different specialties).
While the most of available resources are free, some require payment, such as Outpatient Medicine, or ECG Interpretation Cribsheets, that both cost $19.99.
To add a resource simply tap on particular resource in Library and then on the 'Add it' button. You'd get notification that the resource has been added, and you'd be able to access it from the home screen.
Other resources also provide guidelines, recommendations and algorithms in similar concise fashion. But, unlike the ALiEM cards, some of these resources are missing references and links, while other link to either PubMed, or other reference sources, including the institutions that created the resource. Links lead users outside the app, but that's not a big deal because that's how most apps link their resources.
Users can favorite certain parts of the content, for example algorithms, scores or guidelines they use the most, and access them via footer link much easier.
The app also allows its users to add notes to the content and resources, and access them via home screen. These notes can be also added independently, i.e. not being linked to the particular content.
Search option works well thanks to the auto-complete feature, so users can use it to easily access particular content.
Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the AgileMD app and its features. It is good, free app that offers quick reference guidelines, algorithms, and cards that could help healthcare providers make critical decisions in the emergency situations.
Benefit: All healthcare providers dealing with emergency situations, especially Emergency medicine, Family medicine, and Internal medicine physicians and residents, as well as medical students.