Original version published April 2, 2016, by Lori Barr, M. D. updated May 3, 2018
Have you ever gone to ...
the App Store hoping to find an app that will do the one specific task you need to be done right now and moments later found yourself scrolling through page after page of interesting apps and games that have nothing to do with what sparked your search?
Or, how did you feel when …
you did find the app you were searching for and then got sucked into looking at all of the other apps that developer had for sale?
As a doctor, you may enjoy …
these virtual excursions as a way to interrupt the patterns and habits of your days and nights at the hospital. Yet sometimes, you ask,
“Is there a better way to find apps that will help my patients take better care of themselves and apps that can inject more ease and fun in my practice?”
The answer is “Yes!”
Before I share the 3 steps that will help you find the apps that simplify your practice and help your patients with more ease and fun, I want you to …
Understand current trends in medical practitioner app usage by reading Ventola’s excellent review, “Mobile Devices and Apps for Health Care Professionals: Uses and Benefits.” This article gives you the current statistics on utilization and it also describes ways to improve your personal and professional performance by using your smartphone or tablet. If you look at articles that have cited this reference you will also find interesting studies on the use of apps by medical students, anesthesia personnel, and various segments of the population affected by diverse diseases such as multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder and more.
Ready for the three steps?
1. Access a searchable clearinghouse of app reviews when you want a list of apps that perform a certain medical or health function. My go-to choice is the Mobile App Center at pdr.net.
You enter your search parameters and up pop the matching apps sorted alphabetically along with the date they were reviewed, a rating and who performed the evaluation. Many of the app reviews are written by professional medical writers instead of doctors on this site. I have found their reviews accurate and useful.
2. Stay up-to-date on the latest health technology releases by signing up for the RSS feed or newsletter at iMedicalapps.com. Twelve of the sixteen staff members hold advanced degrees. (They also have four staff writers). This is a blog-based content curation site with a member’s forum. The member’s forum is great for asking questions about medical apps.
When you perform a search, you get a list of blog posts that contain the topic you searched. The search can be filtered by specialty and platform. You still have to read each post to find your matching search term so this compliments the information from pdr.net. This site is great for discovery.
3. Plan some geek time. Make a list of medical professionals that you know that naturally geek out on technology and decide on a set time and place to compare app notes. Just like you make time for poker night or spa days or journal club or gourmet club, you can set aside time each month to meet one or all of your techie friends and colleagues. Take turns pulling out your iPad, or Kindle Fire for health and medical app consumption and compare notes. There are 100 medical diagnosis apps in the iTunes Store and 149 medical diagnosis android apps on Amazon!
As you get more current with medical app trends, you begin to notice that your trips to the App Store are more focused and more fun.
Got a favorite app to share? Click on the link at the right-hand side of this page and leave me a voicemail.
Disclosure: Please note that some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. This small commission helps offset the costs associated with the content curated on this site.