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Top 15 must-have apps for medical practices


From apps to help patients track their wellness to disease research and clinical information at the tap of an icon, here are peer-recommended apps to download today.



From apps to help patients track their wellness, to disease research and clinical information at the tap of an icon, here are peer-recommended apps to download today.

Why Now is the Time to Leverage Smartphones to Offer Better Patient Care





15. My Fitness Pal

I recommend this app for patients to track weight loss and diet. It's a great tool.

Deborah Winiger, MD, family physician, Vernon Hills, Illinois







14. Canopy Medical Translator

This app has multiple languages and medical contexts to be able to converse with people with a language barrier.

Stephen Rockower, MD, orthopedic surgeon, North Bethesda, Maryland





13. Facebook

I belong to a couple of physician groups and we ask each other questions about questions-in a HIPAA-compliant manner, of course- as well as brainstorm about work-related problems and discuss our careers. Through the app, I can check these posts without being distracted by invitations to play FarmVille or other games like I get [on my computer].
Melissa Young, MD, endocrinologist, Freehold, New Jersey






12. QxCalculate

This clinical calculator and decision support tool features various cardiology risk scores, like the CHADS2 score for atrial fibrillation stroke risk, revised cardiac risk score for preoperative assessments and many more.

Georgia L. Newman, MD, FACP, internist / geriatrician, Oberlin, Ohio






11. NarcCalc

This app allows me to covert easily between one narcotic or opiod to another.

Georgia L. Newman, MD, FACP, internist / geriatrician, Oberlin, Ohio






10. YouTube

I use the YouTube app to calm patients' nerves about a specific procedure that I may offer. As opposed to dissuading them from the barrage of too much information online, I will show them the video on my iPhone in the office or share the links with them to watch on their own device.

Mark Birmingham, DPM, podiatric surgeon, Boulder, Colorado






9. Epocrates

I do not know how I got along without Epocrates on my belt [via smartphone]. You can check drug interactions of up to 40 different medications in seconds. Checking formulary coverage and tier for medications is also quick and there are many helpful clinical calculators. I still receive a hard copy version of the Physician's Desk Reference, but the only thing I have used if for in recent years is to prop up my PC monitor higher at home to avoid neck pains from the long hours spent on the computer at night catching up all my EHR workload.

Jeffrey Kagan, MD, internist, Newington, Connecticut






8. Fitbit

When people monitor and activity and set goals, they continue to be physically active. Walking 10,000 or more steps a day helps people be fit and avoid being overweight. A Fitbit measures this and other things like calories burned. One day we found an overweight patient walking circles in our waiting room. When we asked what he was doing he said he and his wife are in competition for the most steps daily and he uses every spare minute to walk.  His Fitbit has him over 20,000 steps daily. 
Joseph Scherger, MD, family physician, La Quinta, California






7. Sleepbot

This free app allows you to track your sleep and wake times, as well as dreams and other sleep-related info.  Most impressively, though, is its ability to track motion and sound during your sleep period, and produce a graph indicating sleep interruptions and issues. This app has terrific potential to be used by doctors to help patients' with sleep problems since patients can easily show their physicians their data logs.   In addition, I can envision the app offering a download function in the future which allows for direct patient to doctor downloading.

Mary Christ, MD, MBA, healthcare IT physician executive, Farmington, Connecticut






6. Skyscape

I use this medical library app's reference material for all the things I've forgotten since medical school.
David J. Norris, MD, MBA, CPE, anesthesiologist, Wichita, Kansas





5. Tripit

This app helps me keep track of my travel plans (plane reservations, hotel, car rentals), track delays, keep my frequent flyer and hotel loyalty account information in one place, among other things.

Yul D. Ejnes, MD, MACP, internist, Cranston, Rhode Island






4. GoodReader

I use this app to store and read documents on my iPad. It can read Word files, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, and others. It has functionality for annotating and highlighting, which makes it easy to find things in meeting agendas. It also syncs with Dropbox.
Yul D. Ejnes, MD, MACP, internist, Cranston, Rhode Island





3. TouchCare

This app provides secure telemedicine visits with patients. I often use it to enhance my ability to follow up with patients even if it is not possible or necessary for them to see me in the office Since it does not require in-app documentation, I can document my visits in my EHR without duplication of efforts.
Brian Forrest, MD, family physician, Apex, North Carolina






Although my medical Spanish is OK, and I have picked up a little Korean and Swahili, occasionally a patient will come in without a family member to help translate. When this happens, I have found VOCRE to be incredibly reliable in acting as a live voice to voice translator. I talk into my iPhone and it speaks the phrase to the patient in their native language. They speak back to me and my iPhone turns it into English. It's very handy.

Brian Forrest, MD, family physician, Apex, North Carolina





1. Words with Friends

This game app is simply a lot of fun and a good stress reducer.

Lisa Klein, MD, FACC, pediatric cardiologist, Louisville, Kentucky



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