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Top Features for Medical Apps Used by Doctors

With limited time to consult, diagnose and treat an increasing number of patients, doctors are turning to smartphones and medical apps to provide better treatment for those under their care.

These apps must be grounded in sound medical science, of course, and it’s essential that they go through exhaustive testing and refinement before being released through app stores.

If you’re considering using an app as part of the daily routine at your practice, read on for information on top features of medical apps used by doctors to help guide your decision.

Drug Reference

An app that includes comprehensive drug reference information will be invaluable to any working doctor. It will need to include warnings about contraindications with other prescription medications as well as over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies.

In addition, the app should provide guidance about foods that are forbidden, such as grapefruit or licorice, which can interfere with drug metabolism.

Medical Literature Research

Since doctors are so busy moving from patient to patient, they often have limited time to keep up with the latest research from peer-reviewed medical journals.

An app that provides access to the medical literature gives physicians flexibility so they can take advantage of idle moments to look into some new information published by their peer, or look up something while with a patient.

Access to the Practice’s Electronic Health Record System

Many modern medical practices rely on electronic health record or EHR software to keep track of each patient’s digital chart.

Doctors who are on rounds at an affiliated hospital or who are otherwise out of the office can still connect with the EHR while on the go if they have an app that communicate with this data (typically stored in the cloud for easier access). The National Institutes for Health reported that access to EHR data is a primary motivation for physicians to use a mobile device.

Needless to say, this information is highly sensitive and is protected by HIPAA regulations regarding patient privacy, so the app must have robust encryption and other security features before a physician would consider using it.

Electronic Prescribing

The ability to quickly generate a prescription electronically for immediate transmission to the patient’s pharmacy is invaluable. Doctors want this so their patients can get their medication without delay.

Secure Messaging Between Staff and Patients

Medical practices often will want to set up a patient portal to facilitate communication between patients and the staff. A medical app that allows for secure messaging between care giver and care receiver is more efficient than relying on people waiting on hold on the phone to leave a message at the practice.

Evidence-Based Decision Making

The faster and more accurately a doctor can come to a decision about what is wrong with a patient and how to address it, the better the outcome. This is a top feature for medical apps because it can improve in making a differential diagnosis.

Augmented Reality

The promise of augmented reality is a world overlaid with a wide range of information to help users navigate through complex systems, whether a city street in a foreign country or a computer-generated model of the human brain.

Augmented reality in a medical app provides a number of benefits. Doctors and students training to be doctors will be able to visualize the body with dynamic 3D models, noted ReferralMD.

Consider the DoctorMole app, which was created to help physicians assess skin moles by aiming their smartphone camera at the patient’s skin. Its augmented reality is supported by an algorithm that integrates criteria according to the Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Risk (ABCDE) approach. The app helps the doctor determine a mole’s malignancy more easily, according to MedCityNews.

Language Translation

In the melting pot of cultures that is America, not everyone can speak or write in English. This presents a major problem for doctors who do not understand a sick patient, since asking questions is an important part of the differential diagnosis.

If a doctor cannot readily communicate with a patient because no human translator is currently available on the scene, treatment can be hampered. This is why translation is a top feature for medical apps for doctors, for written and spoken communications. A medical app for doctors with multiple language options and the ability to access more languages on the fly will be immensely valuable.

Data Mining

Data mining is revolutionizing how people do work in a wide range of industries, from financial to military, and medicine is no exception. The brute force crunching through the numbers along with sophisticated programming to parse all the data can lead to previously unimaginable abilities to discover important patterns and trends.

To that end, FDNA of Boston developed its Face2Gene platform. According to Fortune, doctors can use a mobile app to upload a photo of a patient with a mysterious disease. The FDNA platform uses AI and data mining to scour through its database of photos of diseased patients to help identify the malady.

Data mining that includes access to real-time information would be very useful in a medical app, because it can accomplish tasks such as helping identify the spread of a disease outbreak as it threatens the local community or discovering a strange constellation of injuries or illnesses that center around a particular demographic or location.

Patient Connectivity and Status Tracking

Monitoring patient status from remote will be easier with the right mobile app. For example, at the Temple University’s Temple Lung Center, researchers developed an app called “COPD Co-Pilot.”

Patients download the app and are prompted to use their smartphone to report in once a day about their symptoms, such as wheezing or breathlessness, taking airflow readings from their lungs with a hand-held meter, noted the Wall Street Journal.

Nurses and doctors use the app to receive this timely information to stay aware of which patients might need immediate intervention (and which patients didn’t check in that day.) When telemetry and telemedicine combine in the form of a smartphone app supported by various sensors taking data from patients, doctors will be able to provide better care, even if they cannot be in the same room as those they are diagnosing.

Get The Medical App Features You Need To Be Successful & Efficient

You may have already tried a few apps based on recommendations from fellow healthcare practitioners or that you discovered while searching.

Keep in mind that app developers seeking the widest possible user base will tend to include only the most pressing features that they can determine from their end user research. This means they have to compromise and get by with apps that don’t completely meet their requirements.

If you’re looking for a medical app that will help improve job performance and provide better treatment for your patients, you should consider developing your own solution by partnering with a team of mobile application developers that understand the medical space and how it interfaces with the latest in software and technology.

Take the survey to see if you can benefit from a custom medical application.

You can also contact us online or call 804-823-5825 with any questions or for more information.

Top 10 Mobile Apps For Doctors

 

You probably remember the iPhone commercial from several years ago in which they kept saying “there’s an app for that” to illustrate how just about anything could be solved or optimized through an app.

Well, that is more true today than ever. But the question is, as a doctor – is there an app for that?

It turns out, there are many apps for that. In fact, whether you’re looking for access to peers, need help with common equations or you want a completely customized app, there’s a solution out there for you.  

If you’re curious what apps other doctors are currently using, here’s a list of the top ten mobile apps for doctors.

1. AHRQ ePSS

The Electronic Preventive Services Selector app was developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for Android and Apple devices.

It’s designed to help primary care clinicians locate preventative medication, counseling and screening services that are most appropriate for their patients. Information in the app is based on recommendations provided by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

Users can conduct searches based on criteria such as patient age, gender and various behavior risk factors. The app was recently updated to include text correction.

2. Doximity Medical Network

More than 70% of all physicians belong to Doximity, which its creators bill as the largest medical professional network in the United States. The app was developed for Android and Apple devices to allow medical professionals to search for peers across the United States.

Reading articles through this app will earn you Category 1 Continuing Medical Education or CME status with no need to fill out surveys or answer a test.

Users are eligible to get a free efax number that they can use to send faxes from their mobile device. You can even use the app to search for jobs and conduct salary comparisons.

3. Epocrates Medical References

According to developer Epocrates, the Epocrates Medical References app is used by 50% of all physicians in the U.S. while providing care to patients.

Available for Android and Apple, this app lets you check on safety information and drug prescribing details for thousands of medications. It also helps you identify drug contraindications, with as many as 30 different medications evaluated at the same time.

What’s more, you can use the app to review medical news and the most current research in your field. In cases where you require a consultation, the app will help you locate providers who can assist you.

4. Figure 1 – Medical Cases

When you’re confronted by an unusual medical condition, it pays to have access to useful information on a variety of diseases and teaching cases on obscure conditions from your medical peers. To that end, Figure 1 has developed its Medical Cases app for Android and Apple device users.

You can communicate with other doctors while you’re in a remote location and need some information quickly on a difficult medical situation. The messages you transmit through the app to colleagues are protected according to HIPAA privacy requirements.

5. MDCalc Medical Calculators

Since its development in 2005 by MD Aware, the MDCalc Medical Calculators app for Android and Apple has helped more than 1 million professionals in the medical community with support for their clinical decision-making process.

Each medical calculator is regularly updated and is designed to help you meet patient care requirements with an evidence-based approach.

For example, you can pull up the Glasgow Coma Scale/Score (GCS) when evaluating a patient in hospital or rely on the Fractional Excretion of Sodium (FENa) when making rounds.

The app lets you quickly sort information according to your specialty, favorite calculators or the most recently used calculators.

6. MediBabble Translator

When you must evaluate, diagnose and treat a patient who does not speak English and no human translator is immediately available, you can rely on the MediBabble Translator developed by NiteFloat for Apple devices.

MediBabble bills itself as offering professional-grade medical interpretation and the app now downloads to your device with English and Spanish. The app is free and so are downloads for additional languages, which now include French, German, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Haitian Creole.

MediBabble includes thousands of questions and instructions that you can play to patients via high-quality recordings. Additional phrases are compiled in a special physical examination module to help you examine patients when there is a language barrier.

7. Medscape

The Medscape app, developed by WebMD for Android and Apple devices, is your source for quick answers to a range of clinical answers while you are in the midst of caring for your patients. It’s a reference suitable for doctors, nurses and other practitioners.

The app’s Medscape Consult feature allows you to access more than 250,000 doctors from around the world so you can benefit from their vast range of experience. For example, if you are dealing with a challenging case in your clinic, use the app to ask questions of your peers to get a fast reaction.

8. NEJM This Week

If you are a regular reader of the New England Journal of Medicine but sometimes find yourself short on time to keep up with all the information provided, you’ll want to consider using the NEJM This Week app developed by the publication for use on Apple devices.

You’ll gain access to the latest news in your field. Resources include articles that provide step-by-step procedures, a tool to help you identify mysterious pills, details on prescription drug formularies and a number of medical calculators. Users of NEJM This Week can also use the app to crowdsource answers from their fellow physicians in difficult-to-diagnose cases.

9. Read by QxMD

Read is an app for Android and Apple devices, developed by QxMD Medical Software. This resource helps you stay current on scientific research related to your medical practice. It is useful for checking on the latest topic reviews and conducting searches in the PubMed database.

When you are browsing or reading articles that you would like to refer to a colleague, the app makes it easy to share via Facebook, Twitter or email. You can keep your favorite articles organized in the app for ready access.

10. UpToDate

The UpToDate app, developed by UpToDate, Inc., for use on Android and Apple smartphones, is a resource for physicians that offers the latest in evidence-based information from a clinical perspective to help support your decision making process. It includes drug topics and clinician recommendations for use while you are providing care.

To keep information organized according to your preferences, you can use its bookmarks and history to review useful materials. The search feature has medically appropriate auto-completion, enabling you to research topics more efficiently.

Various calculators in the app have been optimized for viewing on the screens of mobile devices, so you won’t need to find a desktop machine when you need to make a quick calculation when treating patients.

Find Or Develop The Best App For You

While there are a number of useful features in these top-ranking medical apps for doctors, you as a medical professional likely have mobile app requirements that are particular to your specialty, the patient population you serve (or hope to expand service to) or even your location.

Give these apps a shot if they fit what you’re looking for and you may be able to make your life a little easier while you’re at work. If you’re looking for features from several of these apps, or you don’t see what you’re looking for, let us know and we’ll help you find your perfect mobile app solution.
Not sure if you need a mobile app? Take our quiz to see if you’re ready for a custom mobile app.

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