5 Medical Apps for your SmartPhone
Smartphone/medical apps have come a long way in a very short amount of time, and are surprisingly useful for both medical professionals and patients. Apps work on smartphones or tablets; nurses, doctors and patients can benefit from health related apps in surprising ways.
Whether you’re a physician who needs to check an image or review drug information right away, or a patient who needs to learn more about a diagnosis, there’s an app for that. Medical apps don’t replace your doctor – or the doctor/patient relationship, but they can enhance patient care and knowledge levels.
5 Smartphone Apps for Medical Use
Can you tell the difference between aortic stenosis and mitral valve regurgitation? Many medical students have trouble making the distinction, but a digital stethoscope can help clear things up. Medical apps like Thinklabs’ Stethoscope record heart sounds through your microphone or an electronic microscope, and help you interpret what you’re hearing. At about $70, this app can be pricey – but if it helps you master or teach heart sounds, it is worth it. Look for some forthcoming apps to complement this one – PC Magazine reports a smartphone ECG app has recently been submitted for FDA approval.
Your smartphone came equipped with a built in stopwatch and alarm, both of which can be useful for medical applications, but some apps are taking things a step further. Sleep as Android and Sleep Cycle use your smartphone to track your sleep cycle – and wake you up at the right time for maximum alertness. White noise sleep apps can also be handy for busy residents and nurses – blocking out exterior noise for a set amount of time, and then slowly fading to allow you to wake naturally. Sleep apps are inexpensive, usually ranging from free to 4.99 – allowing you to test out a few and find your perfect match.
Your smartphones accelerometer records and responds to movement, and is also the basis for the PocketCPR app. Pocket CPR is designed to provide feedback during CPR on depth and rate of compressions. This app is most useful as a practice or training device, allowing the user to get real-time feedback.
Centricity Radiology is a specialized app that allows you to view MRI and CT images right on your phone – provided these images are stored in PACS format (an image storing format used by GE Centricity). Radiologists and other physicians can quickly access patient records on the go – and come to a diagnosis more quickly in emergent cases. As with any medical apps that store or share images, the images should only be used with patient permission for patient care and deleted promptly after viewing.
There are several different paid and free apps that allow both patients and medical professionals to view prescription and over the counter drug information. Apps allow near instant access to dosage, side effect and drug interaction information, making it easy to get the facts about an unfamiliar medication.
Other apps that are useful to medical professionals aren’t medical apps at all – just useful tools. From translating care and symptom information to relaying important aftercare advice, a translator or translation app is a valuable tool, and can be downloaded and used quickly. A free flashlight app can help you see in low light conditions and a stopwatch or timer has many potential medical and health applications.