Medical apps will likely become one of your best friends during your clinical year. They are an increasingly indispensable tool alongside a good stethoscope and a pad of scratch paper. Below are a few I have found incredibly useful during my emergency medicine (EM) rotation, and they have proved valuable with other rotations as well. Thanks to fellow blogger Kimberly Mackey for her previous post on free medical apps for students.
10 Second EM
Category: Clinical reference
10 Second provides rapid access to a variety of commonly used algorithms, rules and calculators to assist in decision-making and drug dosing. Categories include ABCDs for resuscitation, cardiology for rapid EKG assistance and clinical calculators, to name a few.
Key Feature: After you input a patient’s weight in kilograms, weight-based calculations are provided for quick dosing and more rapid administration.
Cost: Less than $5
Category: Emergency medicine wiki
WikEM is a fantastic resource for more in-depth discussion and information when you need answers to EM questions. Sources are noted for accuracy and categories are broken down by specialty and system for multiple approaches to the same topic.
Key Feature: Each topic has an outline. Notes are simple and very easy to follow with sources cited, and many quick reference cards are available.
EMRA (Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association) Antibiotic Guide 2013
Category: Antimicrobial guidelines
EMRA is an essential tool, either in print or app form, for the student during their EM rotation. It is a widely recognized standard for antimicrobial drug selection for both acute and, for some, chronic disease treatment. It is equally useful outside of the ED. It is also available in a pocket-size print version.
Key Feature: You can search and select treatments based on diagnosis, body system, organism or topic.
Cost: $15.99 (it’s worth it)
Category: Toxicology reference
Tox Toolbox is a simple and quick reference for decision-making when confronted with a known or suspected toxicology patient. The app simplifies information and identifies clinical pearls and questions to ask or consider.
Key Feature: Top 25 Toxins is a list of the most common toxins in America and provides drop-down information on signs/ symptoms, clinical pearls and treatment pitfalls.
Category: Drug reference
It is a pharmacopoeia with several additional features such as a drug interaction checker, pill ID and medical calculators.
Key Feature: The pill ID function is invaluable when confronted with an unknown medication, and the drug interaction function can help guide therapy for patients on multiple medications.
No matter what your specialty or area of interest the folks at iMedicalApps have done the legwork for you. Their extensive review of many medical apps will give you the background information needed to decide if the price tag (or disk space) is worth it. You can research apps based on specialty or preorganized lists. Likewise, whether you are an iPhone fanatic or Android enthusiast the search can be tailored.
The above are just a select few I have run across and prefer. It does not mean they are the best, and with the speed of updates and developments in medical technology who knows what will be out next!
Good luck to all, and be sure to share what you pick up along the way. Special thanks to Nate Larsen, MD, for his input and mentorship.
John (JJ) Jenkins is an Army veteran and second-year PA student at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis.