Useful Apps for medics in resource-limited settings

Healthcare technology has advanced in leaps and bounds along with medical diagnostic and therapeutic advances. There are more treatment options that can be provided for people with illnesses. There is a rapid influx of newly launched medications and so it has become essential to stay abreast of changes.

Older doctors will recall carrying books of medical drug formulary and reference guides in pockets of their lab coats. Digital technology and smartphones have replaced bulky pocket notebooks and paper formularies.

Medical professionals and allied, now rely on useful Apps for clinical decision support and point-of-care information. In resource-limited settings in developing countries without robust healthcare infrastructure or support, the clinician needs to have reliable tools of information for best clinical decision making.

The advantage of smartphone technology is the availability of internet access to bring clinical support tools to the medical space. The downside of technology is the cost of internet data plans and connectivity speed concerns which may limit immediate accessibility because the majority of Apps interface best with active internet connections.

Here, I will discuss some popular Apps that have a role in clinical care.

  • Calculate by QxMD- This is useful for calculations in medicine. For example, the pre-op assessment of cardiac risk, calculation of the 10-year risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, corrected calcium calculation, Calculation of Sodium correction for low sodium, PHQ-9 for depression evaluation to mention but a few. This App also has links to recommended health screening guidelines.
  • Epocrates by athenaservices- This is a marvellous App that is free, with dosing of medications, side effects, drug-drug interactions, dose adjustments in kidney disease, effects on pregnancy and lactation, and contraindications. This App has replaced the bulky formulary book of medications. It also has articles of current clinical information
  • Medscape by WebMD- This is a popular free App providing the latest medical news, point-of-care drug and disease information with access to continuing medical education credits.
  • CDC Vaccine Schedules by CDC-This App is a great resource for vaccination schedules according to the age. It also discusses contraindications to vaccines and has links to vaccine-related resources.
  • CDC STD TX-This is an App that provides a quick reference guide for medical professionals on the identification and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. It’s a great resource because it has treatment guidelines as well as information in a clear concise manner.

Also seek out resources from your colleagues to learn what medical Apps they enjoy.

Written by Dr. N. Onuoha

Photo by Godaddy Stock

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