Any of these scenarios sound familiar?
To watch and learn from a surgeon’s techniques, you have to stop serving patients and go to a specific location at a set date and time.
To read quality medical research, you have to take time away from your work to search and find resources.
Your licenses and certifications risk lapsing unless you manually reapply and renew them.
Waste time no more.
Instead, explore these three free medical apps you can use to meet your research, practical education and certification needs while you’re on the go.
Medical app #1: Docphin
Aggregate your content with Docphin. Docphin is available free on iTunes, the App Store and Google Play.
This free medical app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices streamlines access to medical research from more than 5,000 journals and recommends content that is relevant to your interests and the topics that are trending among your peers.
“Physicians save their subscription credentials to their mobile device and quickly access PDF versions they can save for later or share with colleagues,” says Sachin Nanavati, cofounder of Docphin.
Docphin accepts content from hospitals for physicians’ research needs. Docphin’s hospital platform enables medical departments and residency programs to add clinical guidelines, hospital protocols and decision-making references for mobile access and provides detailed engagement metrics to help accelerate the implementation process within the health care system.
“Residency programs can leverage Docphin’s unique platform to track and measure objective metrics that can be used to help meet new accreditation milestones set by the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education),” says Nanavati.
The makers of Docphin strive to make evidence-based medical research more accessible through mobile technology and keep the content meaningful for providers who have limited time and resources.
Rishi Sharma, M.D., is chief gastroenterology fellow at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “As a training physician, my goal is to be current with the latest research articles that are relevant to my interests and that journals I trust and respect publish,” says Sharma.
But since most of the content is fragmented, it can be hard to keep up with research.
“I often don’t have time to read articles when I discover them,” he says. Sharma tried manually flagging articles in emails and lists to read later. However, this proved time-consuming. “I marked articles in various places and then—when I couldn’t relocate them consistently—I had to find the articles via my hospital’s library website, which could take several minutes.”
While looking for other ways to stay current, he came across Docphin.
With Docphin on his iPhone, Sharma can locate saved articles while moving through the hospital. “I can bring up the app any time to browse trending articles and to search for and access landmark papers. Since I have affiliated my account with my institution, I can get to a full-text article very easily, which saves me a lot of time,” he says.
Sharma has found Docphin especially useful in staying abreast of specific diseases and treatments. “I am able to stay up to date with Hepatitis C treatments, which have been changing rapidly over the past few years,” he says. “Being able to read the articles easily on my phone during brief periods of downtime has helped me treat patients because I am able to offer them a greater understanding of future options regarding their treatment.”
Medical app #2: MEDtube
Learn from a curated library of videos on MEDtube.
“The MEDtube medical app brings a library of 11,000-plus medical videos to physicians’ phones and devices globally,” says Wojtek Dolkowski, MEDtube’s CEO. Practicing physicians, universities and trusted medical institutions contribute the video and multimedia medical resources including surgical videos, animations, visualizations, presentations, interviews, academic lectures, reports and podcasts.
MEDtube follows stringent quality guidelines to produce video materials that stand up to high scrutiny. “MEDtube’s editorial team, which consists of physicians with expertise across specialties, reviews all submitted materials before accepting them into the library,” says Dolkowski.
Jeffrey Eakin, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive gastrointestinal, bariatric and robotic surgery and practices at Specialty Surgery of Utah in West Valley City, was searching for a solution to a challenge when he found MEDtube.
“I was trying to find high-quality video content that is curated and allows me to see world-class surgeons performing cutting-edge operations with a laparoscopic or robotic approach,” he says.
Eakin had been viewing YouTube videos in an attempt to meet this need. “But now [the YouTube] ecosystem is over populated with irrelevant and low-quality material that often doesn’t even pertain to what is advertised,” Eakin says.
“The ecosystem MEDtube has created provides me with relevant. high-quality videos that help me to branch out my techniques and stay current on changes in my field. It is a great resource to cruise on my iPad when I have downtime at lunch or in between operations,” he says.
The only improvement Eakin recommends would be for MEDtube to enable some kind of social networking with the app. “I would like to see more ability to create a social network consisting of the app’s users so that we can connect with each other and share ideas in a more fluid, facile fashion,” he says.
Medical app #3: CertAlert+
CertAlert+ helps you manage your certifications.
CertAlert+ for iPhone and iPad enables physicians to track, share and manage their medical certifications and licenses. Rather than carrying certification cards in their pockets as proof, they can store images of certification cards on their devices.
“Physicians can export and share their certification card images with the parties that require them via email. They can set reminders to renew certifications to avoid untimely expirations. CertAlert+ really simplifies managing your certifications, licenses and in-service credits,” says Karl “Fritz” Disque, D.O., a board-certified, practicing anesthesiologist and cofounder of National Health Care Provider Solutions (NHCPS) in Henderson, Nev., which produces the app.
Richard Andersen, D.O., a family medicine physician at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, was looking for an easier way to manage his required licenses and certifications. “I was using traditional paper records with some assistance from my administrative staff,” he says. But this approach was fraught with inconveniences such as slow and tedious license renewal and sharing.
Andersen uses CertAlert+ on his iPhone, which he always carries with him. “CertAlert+ stores my license, certification, and in-service information and gives me reminders to renew them,” he says. Now, he can quickly, easily and personally maintain these records for real-time viewing and sharing.
Andersen is happy with the intuitive way that CertAlert+ captures license and certification records. “Rather than typing in large amounts of data by hand, I can take photos of the front and back of cards and certifications. It makes it easy to track the information I need,” he says.
CertAlert+ replaces all the busy work of tracking paper cards and manually reapplying for certifications once they have expired, all while keeping the certifications at hand and current.
Says Andersen: “Before I have to renew my licenses or certifications, I enter the information into the app and set reminders to notify me when I need to renew each of them.”