top free medical apps

Top Free Medical Apps

Medicine is a very dynamic science with a vast amount of knowledge that needs to be understood. Textbooks and other traditional resources have long been the staple of medical students, physicians and other health care workers to keep them informed and current with medical practice. However, with the spread of electronic media such as e-books and apps, this has simplified the process of learning and has obviated the need to carry several heavy books in order for one to read, creating virtual libraries where this information can be accessed at ones convenience.

This dynamic nature also entails that as a practicing healthcare worker, there is a constant need to ensure that the information that one has is the most up to date and current information available to ensure the best outcome for healthcare provision. There is a never ending cycle of learning that can be enhanced by usage of these electronic resources.

Access to free resources on the web is a very divisive issue with most of the best content being shielded by pay walls with restrictive prices. Furthermore, subscriptions have become a mainstay of financing this content. Definitely there is need to find a sustainable way of ensuring this content is readily accessible to those who need it but it leaves the age old question of how best this can be achieved without hampering the spread of information significantly whilst simultaneously financing and perhaps monetising it.  An interesting video by Dr Rohin Francis on his Medlife Crisis youtube channel delves a bit deeper into this debate.

 It’s for this reason that this list was created for you to know where you can access apps with content that is entirely free.

Here is a list of the top medical apps for medical students and health care workers.

Medscape

This is an important medical resource developed by webMD, initially as a website and now an app that is primarily aimed at medical doctors and other health care workers but can also be used by medical students. The app is very useful for on the go information on medical conditions, medications and even has a built in calculator for those pesky medical calculations you, you may encounter.

It provides high quality medical information to a professional audience in a wide variety of languages such as English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. The articles are readily updated ad is completely free to use making it one of the most widely used medical resources globally. This is definitely a plus for the app allowing for it to consistently keep up with emerging topics in medicine and pushing this information to its ever expanding audience giving it an edge over traditional paper based resources.

It also provides a platform for continuous medical education through it regular CMEs, podcasts and coverage of medical events. The medical consult feature also is a forum where cases can be discussed with a worldwide forum of medical professionals.

It is not a substitute for conventional textbooks for learning, but it is a handy tool to use when you want to brush up for a medical presentation during a ward round or to refresh your memory on a particular surgical or medical procedure… a particular favourite of mine.

Another useful feature is the drug identifier which can be used to identify medication by appearance. It can be used when a patient brings in a box of pills but is not sure what the name of the medication is.

Apart from that, the website is still live and can be used the same information as the app, so if you are having difficulties installing the app or the resource requirements are a little too much for your mobile device, the website can suffice.

The app is quite large requiring regular updates to get the latest information relating to healthcare but also has several features that can be accessed offline making it a very useful tool eve I places where there may be to access to internet.

MDCalc

                Calculations form a key aspect of medical practice. They also make up a significant part of what is usually assessed at medical school. With medicine ever advancing and becoming more precise, evidence based medicine has become the norm. The number of calculations needed for standard care will continue to increase with this more informed mode of providing healthcare. Thankfully, this app was created to take away the hassle of memorising all these formulae.

                The app is easy to use with a wide selection of scoring systems ad calculators with the ability to customize these by selecting a particular specialty as well as having the ability to favourite scoring systems you most often.

The app also provides very unique features such as providing advice for what to do once the scoring is done, evidence to back the utilization of the formulae through verifiable papers and even having a section on the creator of the scoring system making it head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. The sheer number of calculators, its intuitive design and the multiple features makes this a must have for the aspiring medical practitioner and professionals alike.

 

iResus

iResus is a simple basic life and advanced life support app that was developed by the Resuscitation Council (UK) as a means of accessing emergency resuscitation protocols offline. The app is very basic but it does what it is supposed to do, provide an offline reference for the BLS and ALS guidelines. The algorithms are neatly presented in a simple to use yet effective app with provisions for adult, paediatric and new-born guidelines.

This app is easy to use and is ideal for quickly referring to guidelines when you want to remind yourself of a particular step in the algorithm.

For those who are more inclined to American guidelines there is also an alternative for the American Heart Association (AHA) BLS and ACLS  guidelines called AHA Guidelines On the Go but this is a substantially larger and a more comprehensive app with access to other guidelines developed by the AHA.