Sunday, August 9, 2009

AnatomyLab App Review (v.1. 0)

AnatomyLab is an app made by AnatomyLab.com Inc and costs $9.99. It walks you through a complete dissection of a male cadaver. In the field of anatomy review, there seem to be an ever increasing number of applications in the App Store. It can be especially hard with a student’s limited financial resources to figure out the best way to spend “your” (parent’s / hard earned / or in our case, loan) money. Continue on to see more pictures and to find out if this medical app is worth the cost.

Any physician that has gone through medical school can tell you their first experience in the cadaver lab. Generally, the learning curve is steep during gross anatomy and often times your cadaver lab experience lasts only a few short months. This app will brings those experiences back and if you're lucky enough to find this app before classes start, it will help guide you through those experiences.


Pros:

Wow! This app is real. There is only so much an artist’s rendition can show, and this app goes the extra mile by bringing you a true, full human dissection. It may take some time to familiarize yourself with the features of this app, but it’s well worth it. For example, when viewing the dissection, double clicking highlights your anatomy of interest. Then, you can click on the “info” button, causing extra information about your highlighted anatomy to show. Some of the extra information shown is: muscle origin, insertion, actions, blood supply and innervation. In this menu you can also edit a custom user “notes” section in order to manually add more information about your anatomy of interest. This app is easier to use than an anatomy atlas, flash card, or dissector manual, and in fits in the palm of your hand.


Cons:

For now, just a male cadaver, so if you had hopes of seeing an ovary or uterus, no luck here. Also, it doesn’t include brain anatomy (no explaining to Bobby Boucher where exactly that medulla oblongata is).

Navigating through dissection layers is supposed to be made easier by using gestures (for example, a two finger swipe up or down dissects up or down), however, too often when I’m attempting to go up a layer, I end up scrolling on the current image instead. Maybe I just need to practice my two finger swipes. I’d rather be able to hold down on the layer label located in the top left of the screen in order to scroll up or down different layers of anatomy.

Conclusion:
Initially, I was not a fan of the navigation (you can probably tell from above, and initially this bullet was listed in the cons section). When you first open the app you’re greeted by some helpful hints about buttons and gestures, and then the “enter AnatomyLab” button brings up a list of different layers to view (refer to pictures). These layers start out labeled plainly, “skin, hypodermis, etc...” however it soon becomes less descriptive, “muscles and vessels” have 13 layers, with no difference in naming besides “muscles and vessels 4” vs "muscles and vessels 13”. Initially, I thought this lack of detailed description could cause some confusion.

After further use though, I realized that like in real life, you see different views of the same anatomy in multiple layers. This application replicates the real life experience of gross anatomy. Underneath the layer selector you get a very detailed explanation of what they dissected through to get to the current view, basically walking you through the entire dissection.

Once you actually click on the “view cadaver” button, this app comes to life. You can zoom and drag as you would expect. On top of that, you finally get access to the “search mode” button, enabling you to search by body part.

When I realized this app is more geared towards helping you through a dissection, rather than being just an anatomy atlas, I found myself enjoying it much more. The greatness of this application is the extra information it gives and this is something a simple atlas can’t even beat.





Who should buy this app?

  • This app is priceless for any student taking anatomy & physiology, especially with a lab (which makes good sense considering it’s named, “AnatomyLab”).
  • Surgeons, pathologists or any other person that deals with anatomy on a daily basis.
  • Students or interns who are rotating onto a surgical service.

Will I use this very often during clinical rotations or in practice? Probably not, but I’ll definitely use and enjoy the heck out of it when I need to review anatomy. The developers website can be found The App itself can be found in the App Store

-Y.A, MD.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Best and Most Useful Medical Apps for the iPhone or iPod Touch



We've been reviewing medical apps and providing news for a few weeks now and thought it would be a good idea to list some of our favorite apps. As you can see from our title, we're pretty excited about this post. These are the top medical apps we find the most useful for the hospital and for medical school. We've reviewed some of these apps on this website, but not all. Eventually we'll have a list of top medical apps for practicing clinicians and students, using our own backgrounds in each. Continue on to see our rankings of the 7 most useful medical apps-

7) Medical Radio (v 1.1), Free: This app is brought to you by ReachMD. We reviewed one of their earlier apps, ReachMD CME. We thought that app had promise, but didn't capitalize on it's full potential. Needless to say, Medical Radio definitely capitalizes on that potential. This app provides an easy way for you to get CME credit by listening to streaming CME education from legitimate health care professionals, and then taking quizzes right through your phone. Imagine getting CME credit while on a trail ride or in some waiting line.

6) Medical Spanish (v 1.2), $6.99: This is definitely the best medical spanish app out right now. What makes this app better than the rest is it's search function. There are hundreds of medically related phrases to choose from, all you have to do is search. The app helps you ask yes/no questions, allowing you to use this for basic questions even if you have no Spanish background. It's handy when you're waiting and waiting on a translator to get to your patient's room (sometimes a long, frustrating experience). Check out our full review.

5) Speed Muscles MD and Speed Bones MD, $2.99, $1.99: These two are great apps for people learning anatomy. They are definitely helpful for graduate level anatomy courses, even gross anatomy in med school. They won't replace your netter's flash cards, but will provide you with a fun way to study your musculoskeletal section of gross anatomy. Our full review is here: Speed Muscles , Speed Bones

4) MedCalc (v 1.2): A FREE medical calculator that is actually BETTER than all the paid medical calculators we tried. Provides all the key medical equations you need and has an all important search function so you can make quick calculations during morning rounds. Check out our full review.

3) Epocrates: What can we say about this app that you probably don't know? We do know there is a 99% chance you already have this app. Great for dosing, but the free version still leaves much to be desired. However, the full version has it all, but it's a bit pricey.

2) iMurmor (v 1.0), $0.99: This app shot to the top of the medical apps category in the App Store in it's first week of release. Probably the most innovate app from this list. Beautiful app for learning heart sounds. In our full review we said it's the best app we've reviewed on this site. We didn't put it at the top of the list because it's more of a study tool, and not something we use in the hospital as much. We are still shocked at how low the price is for this app, we would have easily paid at least 5 times the amount for it. Check out our full review.

1) Diagnosaurus (v. 1.3), $0.99: The most useful app ever invented for Morning Rounds. Great app for helping formulate a differential, especially when you're on the 29th hour of a 30 hour shift and you're still admitting patients. This app is not complex like some of the above apps, but it's simplicity and ease of use is why we love it. Check out our full review.



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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

iEmergency App Review (v1.2)



iEmergency, by Kavapoint LLC is an “In Case of Emergency” program for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices and costs $0.99 for the full version, and is available in a “Lite” version for free. We’ll be reviewing the full version (hoping that in case of an emergency, we opted to spend the dollar).

For your buck you get a simple, easy to use application that you hope you never have to use. The pages are navigated from 5 tabs at the bottom of the screen. “MyInfo” lists your name and up to three emergency contacts (they can be dialed directly from within the app), and is integrated with your regular phone contacts (in fact, you have to select numbers that you already have saved in the phone’s contacts. The “contacts” tab lists additional information, such as other contacts and their relation to you (parent, spouse, etc…), your physician, hospital, insurance company and even medical record number. The “Medical” tab allows you to list your DOB, blood type, medications, allergies, and any chronic medical conditions you may suffer from. Finally, the “wallpaper” tab allows you to (you guessed it), make a wallpaper to put up on your lockscreen that directs medical personnel with who to contact, any kind of reward information, and instructions to open the app in order to get more medical information.

What the app does well:

It puts everything together really nicely, all for just a buck. All of the things this app does can be done on your own (for example, Photoshop or paint even can edit backgrounds & you could write an “ICE” note in the iPhone’s notes application). However, this puts it all together in a clean tidy app.

What could be improved:

Some of the fields (such as the wallpaper message, or your name) will default to an all caps setting that you can’t undo, basically making you manually uncap every letter before typing it.

Conclusion:

Who would I recommend this app for?

  • This app would be a no-brainer to purchase if you have some life-threatening or chronic medical condition and even more so with a long list of medical conditions and medications.
  • I think it’d be amazingly helpful as a clinician if my patient could just hand me their phone with a list of their medical conditions, medications and allergies (or any prepared list for that matter).
  • This app would be most useful for the patient that has a complex past medical history and is traveling away from their usual health care providers / hospital.
  • For the general users, you’ll have to balance how much of your information you want people that find your phone (and or wallet) to have.
  • For just a dollar though, if you decide you want ICE information on your phone, this is the way to go. You can find the app on iTunes
Continue on for a further review and to post comments! We always welcome other thoughts and ideas.

-Y.A. MD



Further Review:

Should you get it?

Will I (or you) actually use this? First of all, I’ve not been a huge fan of ICE (In Case of Emergency) programs in the past. In fact, I don’t even have an “ICE” phone number in my contacts list. And I’ve never looked through any of my patient’s phones (during a resuscitation or otherwise). It would be interesting to know how often EMS & Paramedics actually check phones for ICE contacts (please let us know in the comments section).

So, say you have the program, but you have a password lock on your phone in case it’s ever lost or stolen? The makers of iEmergency address this issue with a printable card from their website for your wallet that will direct emergency personnel to the iPhone app, and even give them your phone’s lock code (if you’ve listed it). Here’s the thing though, what if you get mugged and your friendly mugger decides to take both your phone and your wallet? Now not only do they have an unlocked phone, but all your medical information as well. And the printable card for your wallet? Why not just print out your medical conditions, blood type and allergies on the card and keep that in your wallet (this will still work even when your iPhone’s battery is dead)?


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Saturday, July 25, 2009

WebMD launches Medscape (App Review)


WebMD has launched a new app directed towards health care providers. Medscape is a free app and was launched a few days ago. I like this app because of it's speed. It's great for looking up med dosages (adult vs. peds, etc), interactions, and pricing. If you'd rather not wait a few extra seconds for Epocrates to load in order to look up a simple drug dosage, then you should try this app. I found the user interface to be nice and quick.

Medscape has a CME section and a medical news section, which I didn't find as useful. There is also a section where you can look up nearby hospitals, physicians, and pharmacies. The only downside I could find for this app is they ask for you name, email address, etc before you can use it. I fudged most of that information though and it took me just a few minutes to set up. Medscape has a nice interactive website set up . Continue on to comment.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

iMurmur App Review (v.1.0)


We haven't started any of the other app reviews by saying this, but you might as well download this app right now. Recently we had mentioned to each other how we couldn't believe there wasn't an app for heart murmurs. Now there is.

What's great about this App:
  • 21 different heart murmurs
  • Has a great variety of heart murmurs, but also nails down the most essential: aortic stenosis, mitral regurg, aortic regurg, mitral stenosis.
  • Quiz mode: allows you to customize the quizzes.
  • Has a neat diagram when showing you the heart sound, letting you know when to listen to S1 and S2. (refer to below picture)
  • Allows you to compare the pathologic murmur with the "normal" sound.
  • Has a "details" tab, which gives you a concise and informative summary of what you need to know about that particular murmur, along with treatment options.
  • It's only 99 cents right now.
Improvements that could be made:
  • Keep adding more murmurs, possibly venturing into bruits or pulmonic findings.
  • It's honestly really hard for us to think about improvements to this app.
  • Note: you need headphones for this app, it's difficult to listen to some of the heart sounds without headphones. The iMurmur team says this is because the speaker on the iPhone isn't of sufficient quality.
Who this app would be great for:
  • Everyone in the medical profession with a stethoscope. attendings, residents, interns, medical students, PA's, nurses, EMTs, etc.
Conclusion:

This app is absolutely brilliant. It nails all the key heart tones down, has a beautiful user interface, and gives you further information about the murmur. On top of all this, it's only 99 cents right now. My guess is the price will increase soon, so get this app quick. We are confident in saying this is the best medical app we have ever used or reviewed so far.


If you have a stethoscope, this is a must have app. We can't emphasize how important this app is for medical students and interns. You're always going around the hospital trying to learn heart sounds through patients, and sometimes those patients with key heart sounds can be difficult to find. This app is beautiful because it allows you to practice and practice. Next time you get pimped by an attending on a heart murmur you might just get it spot on.

Here is ato iMurmur on itunes. Enjoy! Continue on to post a comment. Feel free to let us know how this app was for you.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

CallMD and A.D.A.M. are teaming up to diagnose you, good idea?


Well it looks like CallMD, the website that offers online and phone medical advice from doctors and nurses is teaming up with A.D.A.M. (company that provides medical technologies). A.D.A.M. already has an app out (pictured), called Medzio Health Manager. The app allows you to search for medical topics based on your symptoms and it lets you search for local clinics/hospitals. It doesn't appear to be affiliated with any clinics, and when you do search, it uses google maps to search basic key words. Needless to say, its a pretty basic app. Thats where CallMD comes in. My assumption is they are going to use a Medzio type free app to help you organize your "symptoms" and then link you to the CallMD team for a fee.

Here is a piece of the , and a quote from

"Mobile consumers use our service because the traditional health services and nurse lines just don't work for them anymore," said Curt McCallister, vice president of medical programs at CallMD. "We selected A.D.A.M. after evaluating several consumer health information providers and found the A.D.A.M. content and tools to be unsurpassed. We were also looking for a partner that could provide more than just health articles, and A.D.A.M.'s Symptom Navigator web and mobile device tools allow us to provide additional information to our clinicians. We were especially excited to be able to partner with them on the Medzio iPhone application, which we believe will have a huge impact on the way people seek and receive care." (Full article link can be )

The first part is definitely a bit bogus. If it's anything serious, you're going to go see your doctor or some medical provider. There is no way you can make an online or phone diagnosis definitively. You can get a pretty good "idea", but you still need a good physical exam and lab tests. I think the main utility will be for people with small symptoms who want some peace of mind.

Also, is this app going to really be a game changer? You can already call CallMD through their hot line. From the quote above you get the sense that it might make things easier for CallMD. They will probably have some standardized symptoms and key information they will ask their users to input through the iphone, and this will make it easier for the docs and nurses to go through the patients information.

Needless to say, this eventual app and partnership is going to give patients with iphones a more streamlined access to a doctor or nurse, and it will be interesting to see how much people are willing to pay for "peace of mind".

Continue on if you want to comment. (comments are always welcome, no login required)
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The American Heart Association offering Fist Aid/CPR app


The American Heart association is offering a First Aid / CPR app, titled "Pocket First Aid & CPR". There have a number of CPR and First Aid apps already in the app store, but this is the first one that has the backing from the people who actually set the standard (AHA).

Some of the more notable features about this app are the illustrations, videos, and ability to store important medical information (insurance information, doctors information). The videos include the guy we have all grown to love from ACLS training (ha). The app also has information from a broad variety of medical topics that might require acute care, such as choking, bites, burns, and more.

The nice thing about this app is you don't need cell phone reception to use this. It's a stand alone app, which means you need to have wi-fi to download it since its a pretty big size (68 mb). The fact that you can easily update this app is nice, and will help you stay on top of standard of care.

I'm a bit surprised by the price, $3.99. I know the AHA paid Jive Media to make the app, but it would have been nice if the price was lower and I think more people would be inclined to buy it.

Now only if the American Heart Association (AHA) could come out with an app for ACLS training. It would be easier to learn from that and keep your memory fresh, instead of having to carry the cards around in the white coat.

You can find information about the app . If you want to check out the app in the App store here is the . There is a video of the app in action that I found Continue on if you want to comment.
Try this website
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Sunday, July 5, 2009


The Medical College of Georgia is going to be offering its students custom built apps. They're offering twelve apps right now, 6 of them for more "general use", and the other 6 with a more medical focus.

"The six MCG Mobile Suite applications include:

  • A directory of MCG faculty and staff
  • A GPS-enabled map to access your exact location on campus or pinpoint a building's location
  • An events app to keep track of what’s happening on and off campus
  • A course catalog (to be released in August)
  • A news app to stay attuned to MCG happenings
  • The iScope app to view a wide array of educational videos and other MCG-related content

The six MCG Medical Suite applications include:

  • A diagnosis and procedure code reference guide
  • A medical calculator
  • A medical abbreviations glossary
  • An optics clinical calculator
  • A gestational calculator
  • A cholesterol management algorithm"
I think the currently are pretty basic. For each of the medical apps, you can find an equivalent app (free of charge) in the Apple app store. However, it's definitely a big step for the school and an obvious sign they care about integrating technology with their curriculum. They have a showing students (medical, dental, nursing, physician assistants) using these apps in real time and how they can be helpful for their selected field.

I'd be interested to see if they are going to eventually force students to purchase an iPod touch or iPhone or even provide them. From their website you get the feeling this is being used as a recruiting tool as well. I remember there was a time when Duke University to their entire incoming freshman class, which didn't last long, but it gave the school a lot of hype.

I think the iScope app is the most appealing. It would be great to be able to view procedure videos through my iPhone. I'd love to see them eventually put class lectures (video tapes or recorded) on your device.

It'll be fun to see what this could eventually lead to and I'm actually surprised there hasn't been more of this. If you're in one of those graduate professions (med school/pharmacy/dental/nursing/physician assistant/etc), leave some comments about possible applications that you'd like to see your school integrate into your curriculum or develop. Also, to prospective students, would this make you more interested in the school, or would it be a moot point? Click below to leave a comment.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Speed Bones MD App Review (v.1.2)


Speed Bones MD (v.1.2) is an app that helps you practice and memorize skeletal anatomy. It's very similar to to Speed Muscles MD (v1.1), except with a skeletal focus. You can check out the Speed Muscles MD review by scrolling below or clicking here (The reviews are similar). This app allows you to rapidly review skeletal structures in an entertaining fashion. You can use it to practice or you can use it to compete with friends in game mode. This is the full version, which costs 99 cents, as compared to the free Speed Bones Lite app. I'll detail the difference in the full and lite versions later in this review.

Advantages:
  • Good way to practice your anatomy on the go.
  • Zoom feature is great(refer to picture)
  • Particularly useful for memorizing the wrist(trapezium, lunate, etc) , ankle bones (calcaneus, cuneiform,etc), and vertebra structures. These can be found in levels 3,4,8,9, and 11.
  • Biggest advantage of the full version vs. Lite is you have access to key head and neck skeletal structures, such as where some Cranial Nerves exit in the skull (key for gross anatomy practicals)
  • Game mode makes it fun to practice, allows you to compete with friends, and also review the bones you missed.
  • 18 different levels, anywhere between 5 to 17 bones per level.
  • Nicely priced at 99 cents, compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.

Improvements that could be made:
  • An option to slow the time limit given per bone, especially in practice mode
  • Label the different levels by skeletal groups, instead of numerically. This would make practice mode a lot easier.
  • Possible integration with key blood vessels
Who this app would be great for:
  • Medical Students, PA students, nursing students.
  • Graduate students learning anatomy.
  • College students and High School students learning anatomy.

Conclusion:

Again, I mentioned this for the Muscles MD app, I wish I had this app available when I was a first year medical student. In particular, the wrist, ankle, and vertebra bones are reviewed extensively, which is great because they can be the most difficult to remember. I don't think this app replaces netters flash cards, but I think its great for when you're doing your musculoskeletal block of gross anatomy. I think this app will be of biggest utility to college and high school students, but at the same time definitely help with gross anatomy on a graduate school level. For medical students I'd also recommend the . Doctors, PA's, nurses might also want to get this app for fun(game mode), its funny in a bit of a sad way to see how much gross anatomy you've forgotten (hahaha). Overall, I'd definitely have to recommend this app to the above people, at this price its a steal. You can find the app in the App Store . The developer's website is here:

Paid vs. Light Version: You get seven more levels with the Paid version of the app. With the paid version you also get the key bones in the head/neck that you need to know for Cranial Nerve anatomy.

Practice Mode: Refer to Speed Muscles MD review.

Zoom feature: The zoom feature allows you to be more precise when picking a bone. If you hold your finger to an area on the screen it will magnify (refer to picture), allowing you to correctly select the bone. I thought this feature was definitely helpful, although it would have been nice to use the native iPhone zoom capability as well.



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Sunday, June 28, 2009

MedCalc App Review (v1.2)


MedCalc is a free medical calculator. It helps you calculate a litany of different medical formulas and has some other helpful features. Some of these features are the pregnancy wheel, dermatome map, eye chart, and growth velocity. Let me make this clear right now, I think you should definitely try this app before you pay for one of the other medical calculators out there. I've tried some of paid medical calculators ( MediMath Medical Calculator and Medical Calculator) and didn't find them as user friendly and as fun to use as MedCalc.

What I like about this App:
  • Search function allows you to quickly go through the formulas available. The search function finds what formula you might have been looking for. Check the 2nd picture for this. When I tried to search for Parkland, it found Fluid Repl. for Burns, essentially, the Parkland formula for burns.
  • Excellent website, which allows you to get a detailed view of the app, the formulas available, and some tips on how to use the app.
  • Its FREE, iPhone / iPod Touch compatibility
  • Allows you to have favorites, and remembers your recently used formulas.

Improvements that could be made:

  • Open the App with the search function. You have to click on All Formulas to get to the search bar. When I'm using this in clinic/wards I use the search function 99% of the time and having it open to the search field would be nice
Who this App would be great for:

Everyone in the healthcare profession. I think this app would be great for doctors, PAs, pharmacists, nurses, medical students, and EMTs.

Conclusion:

I really, really, like this app. I would definitely recommend this app above MediMath Medical Calculator and Medical Calculator. This app has pretty much the same features as those apps, but its free. MedCalc has a great website that can be found here:


I'd urge you to go to their website and see the different formulas they have. They also appear to be receptive to your ideas (its an open source application), and there is a section to submit formulas you want in the future. The link to the app on iTunes can be found


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