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Review: MD On Call iPhone app

September 6, 2010

There have been some fantastic iPhone apps created or redeveloped lately following the iOS4 release. Even though I started using the following one about 6 months ago, it has taken me this long to finally get around to reviewing it. It’s one of my favourite and the developer really has an easy sell with this product, so I’ll keep it brief.

NB: I received a free copy of this software after I had bought it. The developer is a friend of a friend. Not sure how this affects Conflict of Interest, but this is my declaration.

Software: MD on Call
Manufacturer: Marc-Emile Plourde  (MDoncallTheApp.com)
Cost: 3.99$ USD            Availability: iTunes Store
Basic Connectivity: no subscription or Internet required once installed
Best for: Residents, Medical Students, Hospitalists – anyone who deals with ward calls and general adult admissions regularly
This app is especially relevant for Canadian medical students and residents who are looking after admissions and ward calls. Simple, easy to use, and tackles common problems. It is divided into Issues (eg Bleeding, Chest Pain, Dyspnea, Seizure, etc.), Labs (Hyper Ca, Hyper K, Hypo Mg, etc.), ECG findings, and Misc (Order sets, Lines and Tubes, Transfusion, CSF values, and Opioid Conversion). It has all those handy little things that drug guides and medical references just don’t capture concisely.

The program walks you through the ward call, with sections on Overview, Etiology, Evaluation and Management. The Management in the money section as it contains explicit dosing information for the drugs commonly used in Canada. It sounds petty, but it is so nice to be able to find the Nozinan dose for nausea, or the Beta Blocker dose for MIs with a list of contraindications, or the stats on risks with transfusions (and how to treat the emerging adverse events should they arise).

The obvious downside I see is that it could use more Issues to be considered full fleshed-out. This development may come with future updates. One might expect certain sections to be more involved – the section on Lines and Tubes, for example, only deals with debugging them, not with placing them – but other Apps dedicated to this content do exist. Some things just won’t fall under the purview of this program.

I would pay at least double the cost for this handy little reference. I think Canadian learners will be especially pleased with the way the information is organized as it corresponds very well with the way we have been trained to approach a problem. A download of MD on Call will probably result in the removal of one book or a few scraps of paper from most clerks’ pockets.

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