Physicians are busy. They treat patients, manage a medical practice, have family discussions, take phone calls, respond to emails, etc. Medical apps can help, in a small way, to improve clinical practice. 

Here are my top three most used medical apps.

Medscape: A medical reference app

Medscape is a free resource for medical professionals, offering clinical tools, drug and disease information, medical podcasts and CME/CE activities. It provides over 7,000 reference articles on medical conditions and a drug product directory with 9,000 Rx and OTC drugs, herbals and supplements. It has many clinical tools such as a drug interaction checker, medical calculator and pill identifier. Medscape allows for easy recording of CME.

Alternative resources include the following: 

UpToDate ($579/year) has all the features of Medscape and a more extensive and comprehensive selection of medical articles. It is a fast, easy-to-use app with articles written by thought leaders and experts.

DynaMed ($399/year) is also an excellent resource, providing critically appraised articles in a simple bullet format. Those working in an AHS facility can access DynaMed through the Knowledge Resource Service by creating an individual account and signing into the app. 

Read by QxMD: An app for keeping up with the latest journals

Read is a free application that provides a convenient way to access literature electronically. It is a user-friendly platform that allows you to keep up with the latest research in your field. It offers one-tap access to full text and will enable you to search millions of articles on PubMed. You can also read your favorite journals or browse curated article collections. You can access full-text articles through the library if you have a university/institutional subscription. If not, you can still access full text through open-access publishers. I love this app because it’s free and allows me to quickly read abstracts and dive into articles that may be relevant to my practice.

An alternative to Read is Journal Club ($6.99). It provides concise reviews of landmark trials based on Wiki Journal Club (which is a free website). However, the trials reviewed are mainly within internal medicine.

Bugs & Drugs: An app for antibiotic stewardship

Bugs & Drugs provides health care practitioners with the latest recommendations for appropriate anti-microbial selection and the optimal treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Bugs & Drugs is continuously updated and incorporates local antibiogram information. It is unbiased and free of advertisements. 

Alternatives include Sanford Guide ($39.99/year), an excellent clinical reference for treating infectious diseases. The user interface is more intuitive, has superior search functionality and has more extensive reference material such as tropical infections and HIV/hepatitis treatment. However, it does not incorporate the local susceptibilities. 

Editor’s note:

The views, perspectives and opinions in this article are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of the AMA.