Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Top Medical Apps for the iPad (So Far)

This is a guest post by by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit a guest post.

The Top Medical Apps for the iPad (So Far)

Apple’s new laptop/smartphone unveiling certainly made a splash on its April 3rd debut. The iPad’s 9.7 inch screen is easily the biggest selling point, but the software capabilities it offers certainly adds value as well. While the techies debate whether it’s closer to a souped up mega-iphone (the WiFi model has 3G and an assisted GPS system) or a laptop (it runs just one app at a time), let’s have a look at some of the most popular medical apps upgraded to take full advantage of Apple’s new future toy.

One of the biggest hits thus far is perhaps the most simple: Dok LLC’s Eye Chart Pro. It features a randomizable eye chart that you can fiddle with on the go, allowing you to customize the letter arrangement and size to fit your patient. At only 300kb, it certainly won’t take up too much space, either. Just hurry—this app is only free for a limited amount of time.

For those of you looking to show off the display capabilities of your iPad to people with respect for a classic, consider the $5 Gray’s Anatomy Premium app. At the very least, it should stir fond memories of all-night cramming sessions during first-year med school bio.

Perhaps more useful (and a buck less) is the iMeds XL app, which puts references for over 7,000 medications onto your slick new toy, all searchable without needing to access an online database. Look up dosage suggestions wherever you are, and quickly.

And if you’re really in the market for a serious meds app, consider purchasing MedCalc 3000 for $10. The program holds literally hundreds of calculators and converters, making your investment well worth the introductory price.

Of course, there’s also a slicker version of ICD9 available for the iPad now, as well. Need we say more? It’s hard to think of a better use of five bucks if you’re a medical professional walking around Apple’s almost-tablet. Seriously, this app justifies at least half the money you spent on the toy in the first place. Data includes references from the 2010 version, and all content updates are free.

Many patients wish they had someone—or something—to hold them by the hand as they try to manage their medications, doctor appointments, and therapy sessions. The Intelecare health management app may be just what some of your patients need. Download it and see if it’s worth recommending to your more tech-savvy patients.

There’s no telling what future use doctors may have for the iPad and its inevitable followers. Big screens, tracking device applications, and 3rd-party software support may just provide the magic formula to push telemedicine solutions to the next level. In the meantime, doctors can continue using smart apps to help their patients—and stream TV, of course.

Greg Bartlett runs He specializes in writing about health and technology, including GPS and insurance, and has earned two master’s degrees.

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