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Medical Apps: What’s on your iPhone?

Favorites include translation apps and growth charts

September 2012

Published in the September 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

TAKE A LOOK AT THE MOBILE DEVICES Adam Glasofer, MD, carries with him, and you won’t find a treasure trove of apps. That’s because Dr. Glasofer, a pediatric hospitalist, doesn’t like to clutter his iPhone “the device he’s most likely to use at work “with apps that don’t get regular use.

So which ones have made the grade? Dr. Glasofer, assistant medical director for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at Virtua Inpatient Pediatrics in southern New Jersey, says his iPhone currently has about 10 apps, but only a handful are used regularly.

“With about five apps, I can do anything I need to do,” he says.

Powerhouse apps
Two apps “Epocrates and UpTodate “account for most of his mobile screen time at work. Dr. Glasofer uses UpToDate several times per shift because it’s an easy way to answer so many different questions.

“You can go to one place for so much information,” he says. “It’s such a time-saver.”

Dr. Glasofer also uses a Citrix interface app that allows him to connect his iPhone to the information system at the two Virtua hospitals where he practices. That allows him to tap into the system from just about anywhere.

“I was on vacation in Florida and got a note that dictations needed to be signed,” he recalls. “I did it laying on the beach.”

Other apps
Then there are those apps that Dr. Glasofer uses less frequently:

  • Say Hi Translate. This relatively new app lets users speak a phrase into their mobile device. The app then says the phrase in the language of your choice.Dr. Glasofer sees a number of patients who speak Spanish, Turkish and Portuguese. While he has access to translation phones, there’s something impersonal about asking patients and family members to speak into a phone.

    So if they speak a little English and are comfortable trying to talk to him, he’ll use the app, even though it chews up more time than the interpreter phone.

  • MedCalc. This app provides lists of equations like absolute neutrophil count and GFRs.
  • BiliTool. This free Web site helps physicians assess the risks of developing hyperbilirubinemia or “jaundice” in newborns over 35 weeks gestational age.
  • STAT GrowthCharts. This free app calculates the percentile of children’s height, weight, BMI and head circumference.Nonclinical essential
    Finally, Dr. Glasofer is a big fan of mSecure, even though it sells for the relatively high price of $9.99. mSecure stores “any private information that you want to keep secure and protected,” which for him includes not only his Web and app passwords, but his DEA number.