Top 10 apps for pediatrics
The iTunes App Store and Google Play list thousands of medical applications for mobile devices. Here are Dr. Andrew Schuman’s top 10 apps that he finds to be most useful, and you might, too.
Harriet Lane Handbook
Most pediatricians once depended on the Harriet Lane Handbook to get them through residency, and it continues to be an indispensable resource for pediatricians. This year will mark the 21st edition of the handbook. Not only does the handbook provide drug information, but it also presents concise information regarding diseases procedures, and normal ranges of labs (including the elusive serum porcelain level). Mobile versions of the application are available for $59 from Unbound Medicine (Charlottesville, Virginia) or Skyscape (Marlborough, Massachusetts). Each has a different interface for accessing the wealth of information contained in the handbook. I consult the mobile handbook often during a workday to quickly access the recommended workup of a symptom, and look up normal lab values based on the age of a child. It is also my "go-to" resource when a mother asks whether her medications are compatible with nursing.
As is already apparent, many popular medical applications facilitate medication selection and assist providers in determining a correct dosage as well. In 2008 (June and July) I co-authored 2 articles in Contemporary Pediatrics with James Broselow, MD, and Robert Luten, MD, on medication safety in children. Broselow and Luten invented the Broselow Pediatric Emergency Tape to facilitate administration of resuscitation medications to children, and they have continued to pioneer the safe administration of medication to children, not only during resuscitation events, but in any healthcare environment at any time. Their comprehensive system for accomplishing this is called the eBroselow System, and I will discuss it in a future Peds v2.0 article on medication safety.
Broselow and Luten’s SafeDose application provides comprehensive information on over 1000 medications and indications. It provides drug dosing and mixing instructions based on inputted weight or the Broselow Tape color code. SafeDose assists in creating a medication administration log in emergency situations. It has integrated the capability to identify a medicine by the bar code on the label. This is my favorite feature! Once the weight is inputted, you can use the camera on the smart device to “scan” the bar code on the medication; the application identifies the medication and then lists the dosage by indication. The full version of the SafeDose “ambulatory care” version is available for $9.95 per month.