6 Need to Know Apps for Healthcare Professionals in 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]

It is important to always be on the cutting-edge of your industry to push yourself as a professional and offer the absolute best services you possible can to your patients, partners and staff. The entire healthcare industry is being disrupted by the introduction of new technology that aims to improve the processes in which medical […]

It is important to always be on the cutting-edge of your industry to push yourself as a professional and offer the absolute best services you possible can to your patients, partners and staff. The entire healthcare industry is being disrupted by the introduction of new technology that aims to improve the processes in which medical professionals connect with patients, the flow of information among the medical community and the way in which treatment is applied to patients.

The Apple App Store breaks up the distinction between the popular healthcare apps into the following categories:

  • Reference apps
  • Medical education apps
  • EMR and patient monitoring
  • Nursing
  • Imaging
  • Patient education
  • Personal care
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There are 97,000 apps to choose from as a medical professional, therefore it is crucial to choose the right app that helps to improve your daily workflow and make you more successful at what you do best.

Here are some of the most important healthcare related apps to date, what problem they’re helping medical professionals address and why their solution is the answer to existing issues in the industry.

1. Medscape

Medscape is an app built by the same company as WebMD which acts as a medical resource for more than 3 million physicians, medical students and other healthcare professionals in the U.S. due to its extensive coverage of medical news and research in 30 different specialties.

Who is this app for?

The app is beneficial to anyone interested in learning more about the medical field from a practicing physician to a medical student at any level. The app covers a broad range of topics with a keen focus on quality across many different medical disciplines.

What problem is this app addressing?

The problem that many in the medical field face is that sources of credible information are extremely hard to come by online, therefore in the past it’s been a tiresome process of searching through textbooks, case studies and other documents from multiple sources as opposed to having one reliable source to work from that isn’t the haphazard results from a Google search. With the rising use of tablets and mobile phones, there was a real need to organize and distribute the massive amount of medical information out there today to the very people using these devices to learn or reference this material overtime.

Why is this app the best solution?

Medscape is one of the best solutions for consuming medical content on a mobile phone or tablet due to the simple and robust user experience, coupled with the vast amount of quality information available from its database. The information can be accessed for free by anyone with an interest in the medical field looking to better their understanding of a given subject.

The fact that the app is free to download and use is extremely generous since it has so many features such as a medical glossary, decision-making support at the point-of-care, medical news and perspectives from thought leaders across medicine, engaging CME courses to support professional development and more.

If you’re looking for an app the offers clinical reference content, drug reference information on 8,000 brand, generic, OTC drugs, herbals and supplements, a drug interaction checker, 129 medical calculators, formulary information on 1,800 insurance plans, a disease and conditions reference of 30,000 clinical references, a procedural reference, medical news, continuing medical education courses and a robust medical directory of physicians, pharmacies and hospitals than this is the right app for you.

2. QxMD Calculate

QxMD Calculate is a modern clinical calculator and decision support tool that is supported on iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. This is the only free medical calculator app on the market and its purpose is to not just crunch numbers, but help inform your decision making process.

Who is this app for?

The QxMD Calculate app is for a variety of clinical experts with diverse backgrounds. These point-of-care tools help provide value to professionals in cardiology, internal medicine, nephrology, general practice, hematology, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, oncology, orthopedics, respirology, neurology, neurosurgery, general surgery and obstetrics.

What problem is this app addressing?

Medical calculators have been in use for years since they are so helpful in calculating different scores and indices that would typically be quite complex as a formula on their own. Computers have helped introduce a new era of medical calculators because previously they were spread across different devices for different medical professions.

The continued rise in use and availability of mobile devices and tablets has further disrupted the uses of these tools as well, brining many types of medical calculators into one app that can be taken anywhere.

Why is this app the best solution?

The app is the best solution for medical calculators because it is a free resource that gives you access to 150 unique calculators and support tools. What stands out most about the app is that it has an elegant and intuitive interface making it easy to use for all types of users.

This is important differentiator, since there are many other free medical calculator apps on the market but few that really offer an enjoyable and valuable experience due to their lack of a worthwhile user interface and actionable data.

3. Ambulatory

Ambulatory is a robust app to help with a physician’s workflow from the beginning to the end of a patient’s visit to their practice. The app works on both the iPhone and iPad, but is most ideal for the iPad for use in the office when gathering information from clients, taking notes, reviewing past patient records and prescribing and refilling medication.

Who is this app for?

This app is most useful for physicians at their own practice, as well as doctors based in a hospital or other medical care facility with regular interactions with patients that either live there or visit regularly on weekly, monthly or annual basis.

What problem is this app addressing?

For the last few decades, everything in a doctor’s office was saved in paper format whether it be a patients’s charts, medical records, prescriptions, notes or anything else linked to the particular person’s record at that practice. Although many practices have been operating just fine with these records in paper form, they aren’t as helpful as they could be if they were all in digital format and accessible from anywhere.

Often when a person decides to switch their dentist or doctor, they have to go to their regular physician and have the files transferred as opposed to just having them stored in the cloud for easy access from anywhere by anyone with permission.

Why is this app the best solution?

This app streamlines the entire process of patient support at your practice by synching each step from the scheduling of appointments, the review of patient charts, laboratory, radiology and medications orders and reports, prescribing and refilling medications, scheduling associate diagnoses, pharmacy searches, the review of any other data related to patients including clinical records, allergies and complete medical histories. Lastly, Ambulatory has a Siri like feature allowing voice control of all its expansive feature sets if need be.

The consolidation of all your practice’s data and patient info into one place helps save time, effort and money managing your organization. When an app can drastically impact your bottom line, it is well worth utilizing across your entire healthcare facility.

4. 3D4 Medical

The 3D4 Medical is a group of apps available for iPad, iPhone and Mac that use 3D technology to navigate and explore an animated, virtual human body, which offers a one of a kind experience to medical professionals.

Who is this app for?

This app is useful for a broad range of healthcare professionals either learning about physiology for the very first time or reviewing an area of the body in greater detail as a seasoned expert, as well as those interested in a medical education in general. Try one of their free apps before purchasing one of the paid versions to see what value this 3D mapping app really has for your needs.

What problem is this app addressing?

It is often very difficult to visualize the many complex systems in the human body which have previously been presented on flat pictures, not giving the full experience or insights into how they function or interact with other systems in the body. This is why many medical professionals have used full-scale skeletal models or life-sized models of other bodily systems to better understand what the human body looks like deep down and to help educate others as to what the human body looks like outside of a flat rendering on a piece of paper.

Also, this information on the human body is often scattered between a few quality sources making it the job of a medical professional learning more about the body to find these sources and curate the best visualizations on their own using up some of their precious time and resources.

Why is this app the best solution?

The suite of apps provided by 3D4 Medical gives you a centralized place to view stunning and accurate 3D animations on the various parts of the human body. Rotate, cut, zoom and investigate every part of the human body to get a first hand look at every system and how it interacts as one well oiled machine.

Each app that makes up this group from 3D4 Medical covers a different part of the human body to provide the most value to the needs of any medical professional using these tools. Not to mention, they are more affordable than buying multiple text books or life-sized skeletal models. The 3D4 Medical apps range in price from $50.00 to free, depending on how in-depth the app is in regards to a certain area of the human body.

There are seven apps for body systems, two apps for health and fitness, three for patient education, seven apps on body regions and three free apps that cover images, animations, the essential skeleton and dental education.

5. Neuromind

Neuromind is one of the most highly ranked apps for neurosurgeons to date and it is available for free for Android and iPhone. The app features one of a kind, beautiful hi-res diagrams that can be used as a powerful reference tool for surgeons, which helps make up for its simple user interface. The amount of information Neuromind provides to users is substantial, since any aspect of a diagram can be zoomed in on to provide clear and comprehensive insights for its users.

Who is this app for?

Neuromind is most beneficial to neurosurgeons? and other medical professionals interested in learning about the intricacies of the brain through extensive diagrams.

What problem is this app addressing?

Often surgeons would have to refer to a medical journal, book or some other form of literature to get quick insights on the different regions of the brain as a source of reference before surgery.

Learning in this way was often clumsy since the right information is spread amongst different sources, not to mention that books and other literature can be bulky to carry around. Disseminating information amongst the medical industry in a robust way has been a ongoing issue for years.

Why is this app the best solution?

This app acts as a reference guide and companion to the entire surgical process from start to finish, providing information on all the areas of the brain in one centralized location that is mobile and accessible from anywhere. It features comprehensive to do lists provided by the World Health Organization to act as yet another reference for surgeons to consult as they perform surgery on their patients.

Check out the 6th Need to know App for Healthcare Professionals on referralMD’s Blog here and the bonus Infographic.