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.
Pediatricians are aware that parents have difficulty complying with medication administration. A clever, free application called Medisafe reminds parents and patients when medications should be administered. One inputs one's medications and the application keeps track of all dosages that are administered or missed. A report can be sent to a "medfriend" who can be a parent in the case of a self-reliant teenager or a medical provider when indicated. Medisafe also allows patients to keep records of a variety of measurements, which might be blood sugars, daily weights, or any measurements appropriate for a condition being treated. This application also integrates with the Apple Watch, which gently taps a patient's wrist as a reminder take meds.
I’ve been a long-time user of emedicine.com, an awesome online resource for providers that contains concise yet detailed information on hundreds of symptoms and disease conditions. It provides information regarding differential diagnosis, workup, and treatment. Emedicine was acquired by Medscape some time ago, and Medscape was eventually acquired by WebMD. The Medscape application provides similar resources to the online version. This information is more than adequate for the majority of my needs so the mobile application facilitates access to important medical information anywhere and anytime I am not in front of a computer with Internet access.
Red Book Online
The AAP has done an outstanding job in adapting its many resources to mobile devices. Although I regularly use many of the mobile AAP applications such as Pediatric Care Online, the AAP eBooks app, the HealthyChildren.org app, and Car Seat Check app, my favorite by far is the AAP Red Book Online mobile app. It provides unparalleled information regarding pediatric infectious diseases, immunizations, and disease prevention. The application provides an extensive visual library as well as frequent news information relevant to managing children with common as well as obscure illnesses. It also provides links to AAP resources such policy statements, practice guidelines, patient education brochures, and many others.
Google Translate completes my top 10 list. I include this application because I use it frequently to communicate with parents who speak languages other than English, and I want to expedite communication when I ask about symptoms and explain treatment to parents. When Google Translate is used correctly, I find it is often better than using a “language line” service.
The key is to ask brief direct questions such as “what symptoms does your child have?” and indicate to parents that we need to communicate in brief phrases. As you talk, Google Translate transcribes your spoken words into text so you can check for accuracy as the application “speaks” the phrase as well. The parents then respond to your questions and the application translates their spoken words into text. I use this application most frequently with Spanish- and Arabic-speaking patients and find it extremely accurate.
That’s my top 10 list of apps for pediatric practice. Over time, no doubt this list will change and I plan to update this list on a regular basis. I welcome your comments and would like to know what apps you would include on your own top 10 list. (By the way, my favorite mobile game is Guild of Dungeoneering, which costs $4.99, is very relaxing, and has no in-app purchases.)
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