Sunday, September 25, 2011

Popular iPhone apps for doctors and medical students

Author: Amada Kidd

Earlier ‘app’ was an abbreviation for “application,” which is a program running on a standalone computer. Since smart phones like iPhone have evolved, ‘apps’ now refer to software for handheld device like tablet, phone, iPod, iPhone etc, which are connected to internet. The promising features of mobile apps have made them very useful and popular in the field of medicines and they are becoming an excellent choice for doctors and students pursuing a medical degree.

The reason is that Mobile apps assist and make the procedure easy for doctors to deal with people suffering from various problems. The doctors and hospital staff are able to keep an eye on patients’ signs, even when patients are at home, so that remedial action can be taken at the earliest.

Few of the popular and interesting apps used in medicine are:

1. HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker: In this iPhone app, data entered by the user is processed and it lets you know your blood pressure, heart rate and weight. This comes very handy as the data can be exported, analyzed and shown to the doctor.

2. AirStrip: AirStrip is an app which requires internet connection. It enables the hospitals and doctors to monitor their patients remotely and culminating information from machines and monitors. This data is analyzed and leads to fast clinical assessment, and thus advising the treatment.

3. Cardiac Images: This app is a very effective and useful tool for doctors to learn and know about the cardiac anatomy.

4. Visible Body/3D Human Anatomy Atlas for iPad 2: These are anatomy apps and provide interactive 3D depiction of the human body.

5. Pediatrics Pocketcards: Pediatric patients (children) are not able to explain and comprehend their complaints and issues to the doctor. The doctors have to cleverly ward off the concerns which the parents have. Pediatrics Pocketcards, which is available with iPhone and iPad app, come very handy in this diagnosis.

6. iRadiology: This app consists of 500 radiology cases’ catalog. This assists the residents and medical students to study CT, and MRI.

7. Skin Scan: This is an app which lets people prevent the occurrence of skin cancer. The app scans the picture of skin taken by the user and analyses it and let you know whether you are at risk of skin cancer or not.

8. AliveCor’s iPhone ECG: It is attached to iPhone and runs with the help of an app. It gives electrocardiogram, similar in quality as that you get from the clinic.

9. Epocrates/Medscape: This app lets the doctor do BMI and GRF. It also shows clinical history of drugs prescribed and also consists of drug reference section. Medscape also has Clinical Procedures and Diseases and Conditions section.

10. The Snellen Eye Chart: This is used to test visual activities and as the name suggest, it is an eye chart. It is available in the iPhone. The iPhone has to be kept at a distance of 4 feet away from the eye.

11. Taber’s Medical Dictionary: This is a medical dictionary and has photos (1000), terms related to medicine (60,000), Patient Care studies (600). Along with this, the app provides definitions. It also comprises of details about alternative therapy and nutrition.

12. Eponyms: It is generally used by students and has details of 1600 eponyms related to medicine, along with their short description.

We see several mobile apps being used in the medical field and this is increasing day by day, as these provide a lot of benefits to the medical fields, the doctors, patients and the system as a whole. But then the health system needs to see how this revolution will affect medical liability. They have to devise a system which runs effectively with these apps and reduces malpractices. There are some ethical and liability issues that need to be sorted out as it has been seen that physicians are tempted by these apps and are relying on them heavily. While monitoring the patients remotely the physicals need to ensure that they do not miss vital clues.

About the author: Amanda Kidd is a blogger and writer who has a special inclination towards technology. Her blogs on tech help involves password recovery related problems new technology upcoming in the market like the flying car. These days she is busy in writing on Industrial Design.

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