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25 Essential Medical Apps for Your Phone

primary care best medical apps review
A review of the best medical apps for primary care

Your Second Brain Should Have The Best Apps out There for Primary Care

A brief review of the top 25 medical apps for primary care that we like.

1. Epocrates

best medical app for primary care

This is the best free app out there, essential to get the right prescription dosage. Includes useful add-ons like Interaction Check and Pill Identifier. Very useful for moments like: “Doc, I need a refill of my little red pill.”

A $174.99 annual subscription will get you Epocrates Plus, which includes disease monographs from the BMJ. It is a nice, quick review of the disease. However, the most useful part of this is the Treatment Options and Tests section, where you can quickly get the lab test that you need to order or maybe check if there is an alternative treatment for that specific condition.

The only problem with this app is that it sometimes becomes unresponsive. This can be frustrating, especially since is a (point of care) POC app that you are using in front of your patient. Another problem I’ve had is that the pictures don’t load using the WiFi of the facility where I work.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

2. UpToDate

second best medical app for primary care

This is by far the best paid app you can get. For ~$500 / year you get the most up-to-date information of virtually any condition you can imagine. If you can get UpToDate from an institutional subscription, you should definitively take advantage of it.

Make sure you log in with your own user name and not with your institution’s generic login info, as you can accumulate CME credits valid for your board certification. (You will no longer have to spend $5k on that trip for your CME conference).

Their Summary and Recommendation section is a fast way to quickly review the subject you are interested in and then delve deeper into the matter.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

3. GoodRx Pro

third best medical app for primary care

While you would want to recommend the regular GoodRx app or website to your patients, the Pro version of this app will enable you to help your patients save money on prescriptions.

GoodRx Pro is for healthcare professionals and allows you to share (by email or text) coupons for medications with your patient from your phone without disclosing your actual phone number or personal email address.

Sometimes using GoodRx coupons and paying cash is actually cheaper than your patient’s insurance copay. Your patients will love you if you can help them save hundreds of dollars on prescriptions like Viagra, Chantix or Celebrex.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

4. Evernote

fourth best medical app for primary care

This app is specially helpful during residency to keep all the important information organized in one place. It’s like creating your own handbook of information pearls.

You can create notes with photos or text, tag the notes with keywords and easily recall them in the future. Evernote has OCR (optical character recognition) technology, so you can scan handwritten notes or take a picture of that slide in the lecture that was full of important information. Evernote then makes the text inside the images searchable, making it an incredible app to recall information at your fingertips.

BTW, they also have Evernote Scannable. I have not used a scanner since I downloaded this app.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

5. Zygote Body

fifth best medical app for primary care

This is not an app; it is an amazing website with medically accurate 3D anatomy. ZygoteBody, formerly Google Body, is a web application that renders manipulable 3D anatomical models of the human body.

It’s very useful to discuss with patients the source of their back pain and clearly demonstrate that it’s not coming from their kidneys, their terrible degenerated discs or their bulging discs impinging on their sciatic nerve.

6. ASCVD Plus

sixth best medical app for primary care

From the American College of Cardiology, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) 10-year risk estimator is a great POC tool to tell your patients whether they will benefit from using statins and/or aspirin to prevent a stroke or MI.

Using evidence-based science, you can interact with the results the app gives you and show the percentage risk reduction and determine therapy impact. It is a very powerful tool for shared decision-making and guiding clinician-patient discussion around customizing an intervention plan.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

7. CDC Vaccine Schedules

seventh best medical app for primary care

This is the official vaccine schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is easy to navigate between pediatric and adult schedules as well vaccines indicated for special conditions (pregnancy, immunocompromised, etc).

A click on the vaccine will take you to the complete footnotes . This is very useful when you need more in-depth information, such as finding out the contraindications for a vaccine.

It automatically updates, so you can be certain these are the most up-to-date recommendations.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

8. ASCCP Mobile

8th best medical app for primary care

Paying $10 will get you the convenience of having the most up-to-date cervical cancer guidelines for screening, follow-up and management recommendations.

Since the ACOG guidelines have become more complex, having this guideline in your pocket is a breeze for that moment when a repeat pap smear came back as ASCUS and you are wondering whether to repeat the pap in one year or do a colposcopy.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

9. Sanford Guide

9th best medical app for primary care

Your blood culture grew Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and you are wondering what antibiotic can be used to treat your patient. Don’t worry, Sanford Guide will help you with treatment regimens and will provide you with a nice monograph for any disease pathogen you can think of.

The leading clinical reference for treatment of infectious diseases will set you back $29.99/yr. You can always buy the printed copy that gets updated every year.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

10. CDC Opioid Guideline

10th best medical app for primary care

This is a nice and easy-to-use tool from the CDC to quickly calculate Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME) in a patient who is taking multiple opiate drugs.

The app also has a link to the full CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and quick-read recommendations.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

11. VisualDx

11th best medical app for primary care

This app has tons of derm images! They are so good that even UpToDate uses them. Though it is expensive, this app is a great resource with helpful medical condition monographs, including practice pearls that are very useful. It will aid in confirming a suspected diagnosis (that rash that may look like pityriasis rosea).

The problem is that it costs $400. However, you might have institutional access. So, if you are part of a hospital or you are in med school/residency, you might be in luck.

For an extra $100 you can get DermExpert. This extra feature uses AI to analyze the photo of your patient’s rash or mole and give you a diagnosis. It is a great concept that I hope gets improved in the next few years. In my experience it wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t as magic as I thought it would be. It would give me vague diagnoses.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

12. CHADS-VASc

12th best medical app for primary care

This is a straightforward app to calculate your patient’s CHA₂DS₂-VASc score for atrial fibrillation stroke risk.

You can always use MDCalc for any medical score calculation, but this app has a nice user experience design and is free.

Download from the App Store.

Not available in Google Play, but you can try the MDCalc app. It’s also free.

13. MediCode

12th best medical app for primary care

This is a great resource for your ACLS algorithms from the American Heart Association (AHA), both for the real world and when practicing for certification. It includes practice tests as well as Megacode scenario simulations.

The app offers free BLS, ACLS and PALS certification. You read right, free accredited courses and certifications. They are all online courses. No need to take the day off to attend a class. All the exams are completely web-based.

However, eventhough the courses are based on the AHA guidelines and the certification cards are endorsed by the National Healthcare Provider Solutions (NHPS), the AHA does not accredit any of their courses.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

14. WarfarinGuide

14th best medical app for primary care

Quick reference tool for Warfarin dose adjustment, based on the 2012 American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) guideline. Free app, simple and easy to use.

Download from the App Store.

Not available on Google Play.

15. Preop Eval

15th best medical app for primary care

Does your patient really need an EKG, CXR and blood work prior to surgery? This app offers a stepwise approach to perioperative cardiac evaluation based on multiple guidelines, including the American College of Cardiology of 2014.

You will also find recommendations regarding perioperative medication management. Should you continue the statin, ACEI and BB? Warfarin and bridging heparin plans prior to surgery are also reviewed.

The app is free.

Download from the App Store.

Not available on Google Play, but check out this algorithm from UpToDate.

16. AHRQ ePSS

16th best medical app for primary care

They could have named this app Preventive Recommendations or something a little bit more catchy, but bear with me, let me explain. The app name is Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS). It was designed and developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The ePSS information is based on the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Anyway, this is a great app. Select the age, sex and risk factors of a patient, and the app will tell you the preventive services appropriate for your patient — Evidence-based recommendations in the palm of your hand.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

17. MenoPro

17th best medical app for primary care

Developed with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), this app addresses menopausal symptom management options. Does you patient need hormonal replacement therapy? What are your options?

This app will help you find the optimal treatment approach for your patient through a step-by-step assessment of your patient characteristics and risk factors.

Download from the App Store.

Not available on Google Play.

18. FRAX

18th best medical app for primary care

Does your patient need to be on alendronate? The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) offers the medical practitioner an easy-to-use tool to calculate an individual patient’s 10-year probability of an osteoporotic fracture.

Download from the App Store.

Not available on Google Play, but check out the online FRAX Calculation Tool.

19. Perfect OB Wheel

18th best medical app for primary care

This is the easiest-to-use gestational calculator app that replaces your trusty paper wheel. It’s very convenient, as it will give you even more information than you can get from the classic wheel, including EDD and first- and second-trimester end date, expected fetal length and weight based on growth curves.

Ideal for tracking your pregnant patients, the Perfect OB Tracker enables you track any number of pregnancies, with at-a-glance due date and gestational age and one-tap access to all the data.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

20. GBS guide

20th best medical app for primary care

This is a simple decision support and reference tool based on the CDC 2010 guideline on prevention of invasive Group B Strep disease of the newborn. The app contains key algorithms presented as a cascade of clinical decisions that result in a specific recommendation. Does your patient need antibiotics during labor? Did the baby receive adequate prophylaxis against GBS disease?

Download from the App Store.

Not available on Google Play. Try Prevent GBS from the CDC.

21. BiliCalc

21 best medical app for primary care

Based on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2004 guidelines for hyperbilirubinemia. This app will help you calculate the threshold for starting phototherapy based on the newborn’s age and bili level. It offers a nice visual graph for risk stratification and clear recommendations from the guideline.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

22. BabyScale

22nd best medical app for primary care

If math is not your forte, this app will help you to calculate newborn weight loss at their first office visit for weight and bili check.

Simply enter the baby’s birth weight and the current weight and the app will display the percentage of birth weight lost.

No longer available on the App Store. Try newt, an online newborn weight tool.

Download from Google Play.

23. Pregnancy Weight

23rd best medical app for primary care

This is an online pregnancy weight gain calculator from BabyCenter.

Based on the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight and the current weight, this calculator shows a graph with the target pregnancy weight gain for the 40 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a nice visual aid to help your patient understand that she does not have to eat for two.

Here is the link.

24. Google Translate

24th best medical app for primary care

Can’t find the (Cyracom) blue phone? If your patient actually speaks some English, Google Translate is a great tool to help with the conversation. You can translate a single word or a sentence. The app offers a conversation mode. You won’t have a seamless experience, but it is better than nothing.

I’ve read that the Microsoft Translator is actually better, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Download from the App Store.

Download from Google Play.

25. StatNote PRO

best medical app for primary care documentation and dot phrases

Are you tired of eating lunch at your desk and staying after hours or working from home to complete your progress notes? Documentation is the main cause of physician burnout. Discover a simple fix to take back control of your time in the clinic and enjoy practicing medicine.

This is not at app, but this tool will help you be more efficient with your medical documentation. StatNote has a library of over 1,000 dot phrases that can be used on any EMR through an autotext software, TextExpander.

Find more information here.

What do you think? What are your favorite medical apps? Do you use any other tools to be more efficient? Comment below!

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Posted on: January 23, 2020, by :

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