The Best Medical iPhone Apps for Doctors and Med Students

There are now 10,275 unique apps (and counting) in the App Store labeled under the “Medical” and “Healthcare & Fitness” categories. This is a significant increase from the 1,544 apps we filtered through while writing previous version of this article. By popular request, we decided to update our post with the best iPhone and iPad apps for medical students and healthcare professionals.

We followed the same approach as done previously: remove non-English apps, omit consumer apps and junk (e.g. “iWeeducation” and “Beauty Tips”), then sort by popularity. We narrowed down a list of 44 apps and sorted them them into 24 categories based on medical specialty and application type. We also identified those that are designed uniquely for the iPad. Overall we are seeing a greater level of sophistication in the features and functionality of mobile medical apps, but we are still disappointed that there is not yet a critical mass of iPhone apps that access the leading electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Without further ado, here is your list of the best medical iPhone and iPad apps for physicians and medical students.

Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology i-pocketcards$4.99 – Designed for both the iPhone and the iPad, this app is a clinical reference guide with a compilation of scores, classification, algorithm and dosage information necessary for the Anesthetics environment.

Gas Guide: Anesthesia Quick Reference – Free – This is a quick reference guide intended for students and residents. It provides operative safety checklists, common medications, airway and meds by weight and other anesthesia information.

Calculators

Mediquations Medical Calculator – $4.99 – Developed for both the iPhone and iPad. This is an Apple “Staff Favorite” and includes 229 formulas and scoring tools, provides support for both US and SI units and offers references, detailed information and Pubmed links for each scoring tool. Designed for both the iPhone and iPad.

Drug Infusion – An IV Med Drip Rate Infusion Calculator$1.99 – An intravenous medication drip rate calculator designed for the ICU nurse or anesthesia provider. Ensures accurate calculations for dose, concentration or IV rate, and offers both weight based and non-weight based calculations with unit conversion flexibility.

Cardiology

Heart Pro$9.99 – Intended for students and medical professionals, it uses real 3D and allows users to observe the heart from any angle. You can rotate, cut open and label components of the heart with the stroke of a finger.

Drug Reference

Epocrates – Free – Arguably the most widely used medical app, Epocrates is a mobile drug reference resource that provides clinical information on thousands of prescriptions and OTC drug products. It features a pill identifier, in-depth formulary information, a drug interaction checker and dozens of calculations (e.g. BMI, GFR).

EKG/ECG

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ECGsource$0.99 – Developed for medical education and board review, this app helps students learn and interpret electrocardiogram (ECG) waveforms. It includes a full list of searchable ECG diagnoses, over 60 image samples, an ECG quiz and more. It is designed uniquely for the iPhone and iPad.

The ECG Guide$0.99 – The most comprehensive ECG app in the app store, containing up-to-date guideline based content with over 200 illustrative high resolution examples of common and uncommon ECGs.

EMS

Paramedic Protocol Provider – $9.99 – It is a reference utility designed specifically for field emergency personnel. The app provides access to over 200 field treatment protocols and allows you to download protocols from several regions across the country while only paying for the app once. Developed for the iPhone and iPod.

Informed EMS Field Guide – $5.99 – There are two versions of this app: the Advanced Life Support guide and the Basic Life Support guide. The EMS Field Guide is the most widely-used reference in EMS. The app allows you to access critical information including detailed illustrations, assessment information, medications and drug doses. It helps you interpret 12-Lead EKGs and the has the latest CPR and ACLS algorithms from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Eyecare

Eye Handbook – Free – It’s designed for ophthalmologists and other eyecare professionals. It has several features including an ophthalmic calculator, a medication list and a coding section with CPT numbers and E&M codes. For the latest version, the developers teamed with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to share patient education videos and lectures.

EyeChart – Free – A Snellen Eye Chart is an eye chart used by eye care professionals to measure visual acuity. While the classic Snellen chart is typically placed at 20′ or 6m, pocket-sized versions such as this one can provide useful screens for rough visual acuity.

Flashcards

Medical Terminology Flashcards$0.99 – The flashcard app includes thousands of medical terminology, abbreviation, prefix, and suffix cards to start with. It also allows you to create and save your own. Flashcards can be labeled as “correct” or “incorrect” as you study. Those marked incorrect are automatically sorted into a “Focus On” deck. Some example decks include: musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, the digestive system, nervous system and more. Developed for the iPhone and iPad.

Top 200 Drugs Flashcards$2.99 – This app has over 200 flashcards covering the top 200 most popular drugs. It allows you to edit cards, add your own and tag favorites. Categories of information include: trade name, generic drug name, drug class, schedule classification and others.

Speed Muscles MD and Speed Bones MD$2.99 and $0.99 respectively – From the same developer, these apps are useful for high school, university or medical school students studying human anatomy. The apps are more than just flashcards; they are games that test your speed and memory of identifying bones and muscles of the body.

General Reference

Medical Encyclopedia – Free – This comprehensive and free medical reference is from the University of Maryland Medical Center, one of the nation’s oldest academic medical centers. It contains more than 50,000 pages of in-depth and consumer friendly medical information in both English and Spanish.

Skyscape Medical Resources – Free – A collection of free Medical Information and Decision Support resources for healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, medical students, nursing Students, and others. Developed for the iPhone and iPad.

The Merck Manual – Professional Edition – Free – Designed for both the iPhone and iPad. Healthcare professionals have been using the Merck Manual for over 100 years. Information on thousands of diseases, treatments and clinical approaches to each disorder can now be accessed from an iPhone or iPad. The app allows users to access content from anywhere (no Internet connection required), perform full text searches, bookmark favorite topics and record history of topics you have viewed.

Lab Tests

Normal Lab Values – $1.99 – Displays normal laboratory values to help medical professionals interpret test results. Reference values are shown in US and SI units. Includes search field to find values quickly.

Pocket Lab Values – $2.99 – The perfect companion for medical students, residents, nurses, and other medical staff while working in a hospital. It provides quick access to common lab values, quick info about a particular lab value, as well has links to sites such as Wikipedia, Google, and MedlinePlus.

LabGear – Medical Lab Tests and Reference$3.99 – A Quick pocket tool for medical laboratory tests. Includes over 250 different laboratory tests from most systems (e.g. hematology, immunology), testing sources (e.g. urine samples, amniotic fluid) and lab types (e.g. enzymes, lipids, red blood cells).

Medical Spanish

AUDIO- Medical Spanish – Free – This app has been downloaded a lot; likely because it is free. The app is designed to help non-Spanish speaking healthcare professionals understand symptoms of their Spanish speaking patients. It contains over 250 questions, instructions and explanations divided among easy-to-find chapters. Questions are phrased in a yes/no or optional answer format. Developed for both the iPhone and iPad.

Medical Spanish (with audio)$5.99 – Written by physicians to help you obtain a history, physical, and manage a Spanish speaking patient in nearly any setting. Developed by a Mac and iPhone software engineer to provide you unsurpassed functionality with professional yet eloquent design. Triple reviewed by bilingual South American natives for accuracy and up to date terminology. Developed for both the iPhone and iPad.

Mental health

Mental Illness – Free – Mental Illness is a useful application that discusses the most important topics in mental health. This application is ideal for all medical professionals, medical residents and interns, nurses and medical students.

Psych Drugs – Free – Learn important and useful information about various psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications. You can use the search box to type a psychotropic medication you are looking for, or you can scroll alphabetically through the list and quickly jump to a letter with an A-Z side panel.

PsychTerms – Free – Contains a rich selection of 1000+ frequently used psychiatric and mental health terms, phrases and definitions — concisely written for quick and easy review. Ideal for all medical and mental health professionals, psychiatric residents, medical students, psychology students, therapists and counselors.

Neurology

Neuro Toolkit$4.99 – Designed for both the iPhone and iPad. This app was written by a vascular neurologist. It includes many commonly used neurology/neurosurgery grading scales, including strokes, subarachnoid hemorrhage and AVMs.

NeuroMind – Free – This app is designed for medical students and neurological / neurosurgical residents. The app has several features, including: anatomical pictures, differential diagnosis, WHO Safe Surgery checklist items and relevant score and grading systems.

News

NEJM This Week – Free – Provides the latest research, review and editorial opinion articles covering biomedical science and clinical practice. Provides access to articles published online in the last 7 days, including reviews, commentary and case materials. Features weekly audio summaries, four full-text audio reads and four procedure videos of clinical practice articles, streamed directly to your phone.

Nursing

Nursing CentralFree – Helps nurses and students find detailed information on diseases, tests, drugs, and procedures. The moment a question arises you can consult the up-to-date database of 5,000 drugs, find a definition in the dictionary with more than 60,000 terms, interpret hundreds of lab and diagnostic tests, and discover the latest information on a disease.

NurseTabs – $9.99 – This is a highly rated app for nursing students. The app allows nurses and students to search for 340 common diseases and disorders, separated by body system. There are explanations of each of the diseases/disorders and common assessment findings associated with them. It also incorporates potential Nursing Diagnoses and states potential complications for the nurse to consistently evaluate and assess for, associated with each disease/ disorder.

Oncology

CCO Oncology inPractice – Free – Designed for both the iPhone and iPad, this app is a digital textbook that healthcare professionals can use at the point of care. The information is developed by hematology and oncology expts and is regularly updated to reflect new data. It also allows you to search three other resources, including the Lexi-Comp drug database, PubMed abstracts and links to management guidelines.

Orthopedics

ShoulderDecide and SpineDecideFree – Designed for both the iPhone and iPad, these apps from OrcaMD provide easy access to information, discussion, and current scientifically recommended treatment for common knee, shoulder, neck and back conditions. The apps are intended for educating patients about their issues and conditions. Its aim is to enhance the understanding of common conditions while answering which conditions may require surgical treatment.

CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam – $39.99 – Designed for both the iPhone and iPad, this is a reference tool that helps professionals diagnose musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders. The app provides a database of ~250 clinical tests with descriptions on how to perform them, video demonstrations, diagnostic properties and links to supporting medical references.

Pediatrics

Pedi STAT – $2.99 – A rapid reference for RNs, paramedics, physicians and other healthcare professionals caring for pediatric patients in the emergency or critical care environment.

Point-of-Care Diagnosis Support

Medscape – Free – Features continually updated drug reference tools, specialty-specific medical news and mobile CME, physician & pharmacy directories and more. Save time when making decisions at the point-of-care with our fast and easy-to-use application.

Radiology

iRadiology – Free – The app is intended to be a learning tool for medical students and residents. It provides access to over 500 unique images demonstrating the classic radiological findings of a multitude of abnormalities. Users can zoom and scroll around the image in order to identify relevant findings. A heads-up display provides controls to show labels highlighting the diagnostic findings and a short 1-2 paragraph discussion of the findings.

Social Apps

Doximity – Free – Think of Doximity as a private, secure Facebook for doctors. It allows physicians to find and communicate with each other. Data is synced between the web and mobile apps so users will never lose information and always be able to get to it from anywhere. Currently this is the only HIPPA-compliant mobile messaging system for healthcare professionals.

Study Guides

BoardReview – Free – Busy students can prep for their board exams by reviewing electronic drug information on their iPhone or iPod Touch. nursing students can study electronic nursing review cards to prep for the NCLEX-RN, on their iPhone or iPod Touch so they can test their nursing knowledge anytime, anyplace.

Terminology and Abbreviations

Eponyms (for students) – Free – This app allows you to quickly look up the meaning of over 1,700 medical eponyms using full text search or by selecting from one of 28 categories. Users can create a starred list of eponyms to track those they tend to forget. There is also a “learn mode” that will randomly display an eponym from the category you’re visiting. Developed for the iPhone and iPad.

Taber’s Medical DictionaryFree – Contains over 60,000 terms, 1,000 photos and more than 600 Patient Care Statements. Also included are medical abbreviations, symbols and units of measurement, immunization schedules, nursing diagnoses, and more.

Veterinarian

A Vet Tool – $6.99 – Developed for the iPhone and iPad, this app is designed specifically for veterinarians, vet technicians and other professionals in the veterinary field. The app includes a drug formulary with over 650 drugs for small animals, common blood value lab results, a collection of x-ray comparisons and a series of 9 calculators like a conversion calculator and gestation calculator.

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