The iPhone and iPod Touch have created quite a wave in healthcare, and along with the wave has come a plethora of healthcare applications. The user interface on the iPhone/iPod Touch combined with the ease of accessing applications on Apple’s iTunes store and the relatively inexpensive nature of most applications, have made these devices a favorite among healthcare professionals.
With the volume of healthcare related applications available, Iâ€™m surprised at how few I actually use. I spend quite a bit of time surfing the app store looking for new applications that I can apply to pharmacy. Iâ€™ve downloaded numerous applications, but have deleted most for one reason or another.
My “research” has led to the list below of applications that I find most useful as a pharmacist.
Lexi-Drugs: No surprise here. Iâ€™ve been using Lexi-Comp products for years, and have always found them to be a well designed and informative resource. Their paperback Drug Information Handbook is a mainstay in any hospital pharmacy.
EPocrates Rx: I have this on my iPod touch, but donâ€™t use it very often. In fact, I often forget itâ€™s there. I find that EPocrates is popular among physicians, nurses and outpatient pharmacists, while Lexi-Drugs appear to be king of the acute care pharmacy setting.
AHFS Essentials: The Essentials iPhone reference is derived from AHFS Drug Information. While the AHFS reference is supposed to be geared toward pharmacists, Iâ€™ve never found it that helpful. The one thing I like is the inclusion of off-label uses.
Drugs.com: Hey, itâ€™s free and is accessed via the internet. I wouldnâ€™t use it as a primary drug reference, but it might be helpful in a pinch.
RxCalc: RxCalc is the only pharmacokinetics calculator currently available for the iPhone. It was designed as a tool for pharmacists to perform aminoglycoside and vancomycin kinetics, including new starts using population parameters and dosage adjustments using levels. It does all the basics in a simple to use, straight forward interface.
MedCalc: This is a free medical calculator with an extensive list of formulas (http://medcalc.medserver.be/iphone_formulas.html ). Itâ€™s been around since the first Palm Pilots were popular. I donâ€™t use it often, but considering the price (Free) it is nice to have.
Skyscape: This is a suite a free applications including, RxDrugs, Archimedes Medical Calculator, and Outline in Clinical Medicine. The application also has a nice little feature called MedAlert that gives you timely little notices like drug recall information. I find it useful on occasion.
BLACKBAG: This application provides medical news across multiple specialties and therapeutic areas. You select â€œsubscriptionsâ€ to the specialties you like to read about and BLACKBAG delivers pertinent information on a daily basis.
As I said, these are the applications that Iâ€™ve found useful as a pharmacist. If you have a favorite application for the iPhone or iPod touch let me know. Iâ€™m always interested in adding stuff to my list.
There are hundreds of healthcare related applications in the iTunes App Store and I encourage you to spend some time browsing. Who knows what youâ€™ll find.