The Top 15 Free iPad Apps For Health-Care IT4:00 PM EST Thu. Feb. 21, 2013
As we move into another year of the Apple iPad and tablet phenomenon, health-care-provider CIOs are wondering which apps are really beneficial to their organization on an operational level. BYOD is pushing an increasing need for mobility strategies and network infrastructure security, and the iPad craze really means one thing: more work for the health-care CIO.
Mobile technology has the ability to transform patient care, and while many innovative developers have created free apps that have the ability to drive health care into the future of tech, the iTunes store still remains cluttered with useless duds that simply do not make a clinician's life easier.
Here we present the 15 most sought-after free medical iPad apps (in no particular order), based on a list compiled by iMedicalApps.com, as well as the Apple App Store statistics, that deem these medical apps the highest rated and most downloaded.
Medscape, which is derived from WebMD, is used by more than 3 million health-care professionals and has been rated the No. 1 most downloaded free app in the medical category of the Apple App Store.
Physicians, nurses, medical students, patients and all other health-care professionals use this app for accurate and up-to-the-minute clinical information. According to iMedical Apps, Medscape's drug reference is arguably the best in the App Store and includes the ability to look up herbal drugs in addition to prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which is rarely seen among its competitors. Other than drug reference information, Medscape also offers users health-care industry news, thought leadership perspective and continuing medical education information.
This app offers free complete access to Micromedex's industry-trusted clinical reference information. "It's a go-to app for many medical institutions, and widely popular with pharmacists," wrote Dr. Iltifat Husain of iMedical Apps. According to the app's description, it contains concise information on more than 4,500 search items, including generic names, common trade names, precautions, dosages, drug interactions, and more. This app could help physicians make treatment decisions quick, easy and on-the-go.
With the many frequent ICD-10 changes, having an app that puts the complete, latest ICD-10-CM (clinical modification) and ICD-10-PCS (procedure coding system) in the palm of a physician's hand is just what the doctor ordered (pun intended). This app gives users the ability to instantly search and browse ICD-10 diagnosis codes by their traditional categories. Users also have the ability to view the full text of the codes' long description and diagnosis with a simple tap, according to the app's description. There is a HD version of this app available for $1.99, but from me to you, the free version is just fine.
It's a Saturday night, you are having appendix pain and you don't know what's wrong? iTriage, which was created by two ER doctors, can help its users answer the question: "What medical condition could I have?" and "Where should I go for treatment?" It allows users to share the health-care information that is important to them and their family, and can be used as a symptom-checker, doctor-finder and/or medical dictionary tool, according to its description in the Apple App Store. Some of the features include: average wait times for select hospital emergency rooms and urgent care facilities, early check-in when en route to the emergency room, emergency hotlines, and physician and nurse advice lines, personal health record (PHR) storage with Microsoft HealthVault and more.
All health-care professionals, regardless of their area of expertise in the industry, need a good medical calculator. Dr. Iltifat Husain of iMedical Apps wrote: "One of the unique characteristics of this app is the ability for providers to search for calculators by specialty." The scroll-and-search functions, the algorithms and calculators, and the double-panel, easy-to-use interface make this a perfect choice for clinicians.
The Electronic Preventative Services Selector (ePSS) was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)'s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AGRQ), the Nation's lead Federal agency for research on health-care quality, costs and patient safety, according to the app's description. This app helps primary care physicians and clinicians identify the correct screening, counseling and preventative medication services for their patients based on the current recommendation of the U.S. Preventative Services task force (USPSTF) and the patients' characteristics. It functions with or without active Wi-Fi and has a user-friendly interface. "One of the neat features of the ePSS app is the ability to link to HTML calculator pages within the app," commented Dr. Iltifat Husain of iMedical Apps.
In the effort to educate patients, physicians can use Draw MD apps to do just as its name states: draw out surgical procedures for their patients. This not only helps to improve the physician-patient relationship, but also helps doctors explain complex issues surrounding the surgical care of their patients in a hands-on way. The series currently contains 12 apps with 12 different specialties covered: General Surgery, OBGYN, Cardiology, Orthopedics, ENT, Urology, Vascular, Female Pelvic Surgery, Anesthesia and Critical Care, Pediatrics, Thoracic Surgery and Transplant Surgery.
This app contains 65 radiology cases that pertain to Emergency Medicine, according to iMedical Apps, but the knowledge gained from these examples can be used in every area of the health-care industry. Daniel Cornfeld M.D., who is an assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine, curated the content in this app as an educational resource. According to the app's description, Radiology 2.0 allows users to simulate reading CT scans at a PACS (picture archiving and communication system) workstation and uses stacks of CT images to teach the user how to approach and interpret the images. Volume 1 ("One Night in the ED") includes more than 7,000 high-quality images and hundreds of pages of HTML text.
MedPage Today is an online medical news and comprehensive reference source for physicians and other health-care industry professionals. This app offers daily coverage of more than 30 specialties and annual coverage of more than 60 industrywide meetings and symposiums for medical professionals who want to stay on top of industry innovation and breaking news. According to iMedical Apps, "MedPage Today recently partnered with Thomas-Reuters Healthcare to provider prescription drug monographs along with disease pathology information."
This app has recently received the 2012 SOAP (Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology) Best in Education Award, and is an interactive 3-D airway simulation game to demonstrate multiple, difficult airway scenarios combined with responsive realtime physics using an industry-leading video game engine. This app helps medical students and physicians practice their fiber-optic laryngoscopy and endoscopy skills in full HD, according to the app's description in the Apple App Store. Can you believe this is free?
Created by Stryker, inMotion 3D is a patient education app that provides orthopedic specialists with a fully interactive 3-D musculoskeletal model. According to the app's description in the Apple App Store, it displays the benefits and features of hip and knee replacement surgeries by providing users with a comprehensive view of the implants surrounding anatomy, and a full range of motion animations. Users are able to take control of the animations by zooming in, zooming out and rotating the image to view it from a different angle. It also includes a 360-degree explore mode and step-by-step animations to educate patients on the issue.
Cancer requires attention, information and organization, and Cancer.net Mobile offers just that. Created by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), it is an accurate oncologist-approved cancer interactive information tool to help plan and manage cancer treatment and care. It includes an up-to-date guide on 120 types of cancer, with information about treating cancer, managing side effects, and managing the cost of care and living with cancer, according to the app's description. It also allows cancer patients to save information about prescribed medications, including photos of labels and bottles, keep track of questions to ask their doctors and record the doctors' answers all in one place. And, most importantly, patients don't have to worry about the accuracy of the information within this app because the doctors within the ASCO developed it all.
According to the app's description on the Apple App Store, Omnio is "the electronic black bag that holds all your favorite 'must haves' in one place." It allows busy physicians to group resources in a productive way with tags and home screens, and organizes apps and content by categories such as: "with patients," "with colleagues," "in class," etc. It also provides users with a drug guide, comprehensive database of more than 2,600 U.S. brands and generics, information on health plans and payers, more than 200 medical calculators, news on the health-care industry and the user's specified field, outlines to clinical medicine, and more. Doctors don't have time to fuss around with several apps, so Omnio is a smart choice for an all-in-one solution.
Skyscape Medical Resources is a decision-support tool for physicians, nurses, students and other health-care professionals. It comes loaded with a valuable package of medical resources, including drug information, medical calculators and clinical information on more than 850 topics, according to the app's description in the Apple App Store. It contains MedAlert, which is in-context and specialty-focused journal summaries, trial results, and clinical news for physicians to stay on top of relevant information. It can be used as a handy resource for quick diagnoses.
The Lexicomp app, although free, requires an online subscription to Lexicomp, which is a trusted comprehensive resource for mobile drug and clinical information for pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals. New users will receive a free 30-day trial subscription with access to Lexicomp's database. This app not only explains the best drug for the symptoms and illness, but also shows images of that drug and explains the shape, color and imprint. It also offers a medical calculator to estimate the dosage needed based on the gender, age, height and weight of the patient.