Best new tech products
Internet and mobility update
The year 2012 has been another breakthrough year for computer innovation. Apple Computers released its new Mountain Lion OS X, its new high-resolution iPad, the iPad mini tablet, the new iPhone 5, and a new mobile operating system iOS 6.
Apple has sold more than 84 million iPads since its introduction just a few short years ago, and millions of Android OS tablets are in use as well.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 persons in the United States owns a tablet computer. By the time you read this, Microsoft will have a new tablet-friendly Windows operating system, hoping to grab some of the market now dominated by Apple.
With tablets so popular for casual computing, it is no wonder that many new applications and publications are available for medical professionals who use mobile devices.
Contemporary Pediatrics has a new tablet application that makes reading my favorite pediatric journal fun and entertaining. On my new-generation iPad, the text is sharp and clear, and images are high resolution. Additionally, page flipping is much more natural compared to the Web-based digital edition because this can be accomplished with a swipe of the finger rather than a mouse click.
I have been using a beta version of the application—I anticipate the final release application will prove popular among pediatricians.
The AAP has lots of tablet-based applications for its members, and the American Academy of Pediatrics app can keep all applications and publications organized in bookshelf format.
As of this writing, the applications incorporated into the AAP application include KidsDoc, Pediatric Care Online, AAP News, Pediatrics Digest, Pediatrics, AAP eBooks, Healthy Children, Red Book, and apps that calculate body mass index (BMI), plot bilirubin levels, and facilitate APGAR scoring.
Other bookshelves within the app provide access to the AAP Bookstore, CME finder, and AAP's educational publications that include AAP Grand Rounds, Pediatrics in Review (Prep), and NeoReviews.
A similar bookshelf application from the AAP also available for parents is the Healthy Children app with information derived from the AAP's http://HealthyChildren.org/ initiative. Lots of worthwhile information is provided on child development, safety, immunizations, and common health care problems. It is worth your time and effort to show this application to parents so they can use it as a first-line, go-to resource when common parenting questions come up.
The new Merck Medicus medical provider portal is Web based but is also tablet friendly, with very nicely organized resources that include access to pediatric reference texts including the 5-Minute Pediatric Consult, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Oski's Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Care, and even the Merck manual. A full library of medical images is available, in addition to hundreds of patient information handouts. This is a nice resource for pediatricians and the price can't be beat—it's free.
I also like an iPad tablet app called draw MD Pediatrics, which lets you show parents anatomic images that can be annotated with text or free-hand comments to more easily explain clinical conditions. One can start out with a "clean slate" or begin with an image of the chest, ear, mouth, throat, and so forth, then add images to these corresponding to the medical condition your are detailing. These can be saved for future use and even be printed or emailed for parents.
Last, Pedi QuickCalc should be on every pediatrician's tablet. When you launch the application, you input the patient's current weight. Several calculators then become available that facilitate calculating drug dosages, blood pressure percentiles, BMI, intravenous fluids, and others, with links to the BiliTool online application, CDC travel resources, Pediatric Advisor instruction sheets, and many other AAP online resources. This app is very aptly named because results become available with a minimum of screen input.
I hope these best products for pediatricians made you somewhat curious and will encourage you to consider expanding your practice's technologic capabilities. See the product list for contact information, and please let me know if you recommend any new technologies for inclusion in next year's article.
DR SCHUMAN is adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and a contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. He has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliation with or financial interest in any organization that may have an interest in any part of this article. Send feedback and your ideas for new products to review to [email protected]