It’s like a tickle trunk of software; my iPhone wants to try them all on!
Deciding on a basic toolkit for your Palm, iPhone, or other PDA/SmartPhone is not easy to do. There is so much overlap between programs, and though some comprehensive programs function well for one task, their other components may be less successful.
I’m lucky that I have access to many online resources through my university. We have MDConsult/First Consult, AccessMedicine, and a tonne of journal and gateway subscriptions. I can also get to a tonne of online texts through the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Some people like iSilo (a textbook viewer) but I’d rather read those on my bigger screen at home than on a handheld device.
The basic tools I need are (bolded are what I have so far):
- drug guide (like ePocrates, Lexi-Drugs, Tarascon’s, etc)
- antibiotic-drugs reference (like Sanford’s Guide, Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, and ePocrates works here)
- medical dictionary (Taber’s, Stedman’s, etc)
- ‘medical reference’ / differentials aid (5MCC, UpToDate, Diagnosaurus, Harrison’s, etc).
- patient encounters logging (? iLogger (adapted), T-Res)
- anatomy reference (Netter’s Atlas, Netter’s Anatomy Flashcards)
- calculator (MedCalc, etc)
- reference for procedures (Primary Care Procedures)
- EKG guide (Instant ECG, etc)
Some of these programs available can handle a few of the tasks, but they may not handle all of them well. Epocrates, for example, is a great, free drug guide that everyone I know is using. I’ve upgraded (on a 60-day trial) to the Essentials version which contains information about Lab Tests (by Specimen or Panel Type), Diseases (by Name or System), and separately, Infectious Diseases (by System, Bug, Bug Class, Drug, or Drug Class). The latter is the equivalent of a Sanford’s Guide, though I’m not sure yet which is easiest to used. While the information about diseases is handy, it is not thorough and could never replace something like UpToDate or 5-Minute Clinical Consult (5MCC).
For the next two years, I have to keep a record of which procedures I do and what types of patient encounters I have. So far, I have not found any good logging software for my iPhone. There is a program called T-Res that is meant for residents in my province, but their tech staff have informed me it will be months before an iPhone version is available. I would use iLogger, but the time it would take to program in all the categories for my lists just seems too great at present.
I feel like I’m probably missing some other important functions, but they’ll become apparent when I’m in the clinic and am trying to click something that just isn’t on my iPhone.