Technology has drastically simplified every area of life, and it’s most apparent in jobs within the medical field. Human biology is incredibly complex, and no amount of training is enough to enable someone to memorize everything they could ever possibly need. Medicine also requires people within the field to constantly update their knowledge, and that’s a lot to deal considering the other pressures inherent to the job. That’s why no medical professional should go without a smartphone or a tablet, and the best part is that many of the most helpful apps are free.
Medscape is one of the most popular apps in this category. The drug reference section contained within the app is one of the best available through any application available on the iOS platform. It’s also one of the few apps that’s been redesigned to work better with the iPad instead of merely being a scaled-up version of its iPhone counterpart. The search function is substantially more useful in the iPad version, and it also allows for offline access to its content. There’s a reason it’s the most downloaded medical app among professionals.
2. Calculate by QxMD
Every medical professional needs a good medical calculator, and this app condenses multiple devices into one simple program. Everything that a health professional could possibly want is located on one easy-to-use menu. There’s no fluff or in-app purchases; it just does what it says at no cost to the user.
3. The CDC iPad App
This app is designed to make sure up-to-date information is available to medical professionals at all times. It allows users to access the top medical journals as well as information pertaining to health trends throughout the entirety of the year. This app also allows users to listen to the CDC podcast, and there’s a “disease of the week” feature to help expand the user’s knowledge of rare but deadly illnesses.
4. CDC Field Triage
This app is designed specifically for EMS trainees who want to hone their skills. It provides descriptions of various scenarios to test how well a trainee can think on his feet, and it also provides links to the CDC’s field triage website and a slew of downloadable information.
5. The Draw MD Series
One of the difficulties faced by healthcare professionals is communicating with patients, and this is one of the areas where new technology shines. The Draw MD series allows doctors to create a graphical representation of complicated procedures and it gives patients a much better idea of what they’re in for. There are separate apps for seven different specialties including cardiology, orthopedic surgery and OB/GYN.
There are plenty of other apps that provide information on diseases like cancer and that further enhance the doctor and patient relationship. The fact that the iOS store is flooded with 2,500 medical apps shouldn’t discourage those who are looking for something that provides functionality beyond what Medscape or Draw MD are capable of. While some apps sneak in pay walls and other frustrating elements, sometimes the actual functionality outweighs the cons. Regardless, one thing is clear: The iPad represents the future of medical care and everyone is going to benefit from that.
Trent Call is an avid health technology blogger. Interested in a career that combines healthcare and technology? You might want to check out the health informatics program at University of Chicago-Illinois.