Medscape is the world's leading medical resource database that was developed by WebMD, and is the highest rated and fastest growing medical app with over 4 million registered users. It is currently available for Android™ devices by downloading the app from the Google Play Store for free.
This application is used by most doctors, medical students, nurses and other healthcare professionals to gain access to information regarding medications and their interactions, medical and surgical procedures, conditions and illnesses, as well the latest news articles regarding medicine and continued medical education (CME) opportunities.
The Medscape app can be downloaded on an Android™ device and accessed after registering for a free account online. Information such as the healthcare practitioner's registration number with their local medical licensing body is requested, therefore only healthcare practitioners can register on the site and use the app.
Using the app
The Medscape app is immediately user-friendly with no glitches experienced while I was navigating through its content. The setup is excellent and the buttons are easily accessible.
Once I went into the application, I was asked to login with my username and password and I had immediate access to the app's contents. If you don't have any login details available, then register for a free account on www.medscape.com.
The first page accessed is the home page where the main section of it consists of the main news in the world of medicine scrolling through the page.
On the top left of the home screen is a button that when pressed gives the user access to information regarding information on topics such as "News", "Reference" and "Education" (as is found on the home screen).
The user can also change their area of practice by accessing the "Specialties" button. Mine is currently on Family Medicine as can be seen on the screenshot of the app.
There is an "Invitation" button as well where the user can see if any CME invitations have been sent to the healthcare professional's account.
The next buttons include the user's name where they can log out of their account, a "Saved" button where any saved content can be accessed, a "Data Updates" button where the user can check if any updates to the app are available for download and the "Help/Feedback" button where one can access frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and give relevant feedback to the developers.
On the top right of the home screen is an icon of a magnifying glass where the user can search any topic that they need information on. A very nice feature is that this is a dynamic search panel where one enters the first few letters of their topic and a range of choices scroll down to make the choice easier.
The button next to the magnifying glass is that of a folder and when that is pressed, the user's saved topics will pop up in this section.
In the centre of the home screen are three buttons that one can press and they will be discussed separately.
The "News" button gives access to the latest medical information regarding more than 30 specialties, important journal articles, thought leader perspectives, FDA announcements, physician business news and tips and conference news.
The "Education" button allows access to complete accredited CME courses for professional development and for the fulfillment of licensing requirements. The courses available cover over 1,000 topics across the mentioned more than 30 medical and surgical disciplines.
The "Reference" button gives access to the clinically significant portion of the app and include the following buttons:
- Drugs - where information regarding the various medications and their dosages, for adults and children, can be searched.
- Conditions - here, the various medical and surgical conditions, illnesses and disorders can be accessed.
- Procedures - medical and surgical procedures can be searched.
The reference section also allows the user to access clinical tools that aid in clinical decision making and they include the following sections:
- Drug interaction checker - drugs and medications can be typed into this tool and it will tell you whether any interactions between the chosen drugs can occur.
- Pill identifier - this helpful tool can help one determine what unknown medication the patient could be taking by identifying features such as the medication's shape, colour, form and how the pill is scored.
- Calculators - a very useful section that allows access to medical calculators such as determining a patient's body mass index, when they are due to deliver a baby, consciousness levels and even psychiatric score levels for depression.
- Formulary - the user can find out whether a drug is covered under a particular health plan and one can compare drugs in the same class to consider an alternative for the patient.
- Directory - the user can search for other physicians via their name and area of practice.