So you've got the latest and greatest smartphone, right? But are you really using it smartly? You can use your smartphone or tablet to do more than just make calls, share pictures, and surf the web.
There are literally millions of apps available, with thousands of them being dedicated to health. What's your favorite app? What couldn't you live without (beyond your e-mail)? Let's look at a few personal, professional, and playful apps.
Start with your need to work
Epocrates: It's likely that you know about this mobile drug reference resource. It's free and as many as 50 percent of U.S. physicians rely on Epocrates to help improve patient safety and increase practice efficiency. But wait! There is more! For an annual subscription fee, you can have access to ICD-9 and CPT billing codes, lab tests, and panels with reference ranges, and more.
Medscape: You'll find an impressively large, easy-to-use index of drug reference tools. In addition, the app offers medical news updates as well as a number of other educational and useful features, for free.
EyeChart: Randomizable visual acuity exams made this the top downloaded medical app of 2011. Free.
Doximity: This app provides a professional social network for physicians and healthcare professionals across the United States — think the medical "LinkedIn." Free digital fax, upload your CV, and earn honoraria. Free.
The ECG Guide: Up to date information as well as 200 plus high-resolution illustrative examples of different types of ECGs. $4.99
MedCalc: Easy access to complicated medical formulas, scores, scales and classifications. If you enjoy the free version, check out the professional one that has even more features. $1.99
PsychTerms: Contains several thousands of psychological words and terminologies. Free
Skyscape: Hundreds of valuable medical resources, which include Outlines in Clinical Medicine®, Archimedes™ Medical Calculator, RxDrugs™: Drug Dosing Tool, and MedAlert™. There are also drug guides, interactive algorithms, calculators, and much more. Free.
iChart: A platform that functions as a digital medical assistant that can hold lab reports, notes, prescription information, and even billing. It is designed by doctors and can be customized for your needs. $139.
Now how about your need to work out?
Crossfit Daily: Get your workout of the day with details for how-to including video. Each workout will provide the benchmark for you and comments from others attempting these serious exercises. Free.
LoseIt: Enter your daily calorie budget and throughout the day you can add the food you take in and the exercise you complete. Voila! Are you under (weight loss) or over (weight gain) your budget? Easy to use and create "My Foods" lists, custom recipes, and brand name food lists. Free.
Ready to be work free?
UrbanSpoon: Hungry? Find the hottest restaurant wherever you're located, or search by cuisine, price, or even what's open if your stomach is growling after hours! Free.
DoodleBuddy: Feeling creative? Or just need to entertain a small one? You can draw, paint, bring in backgrounds, icons, and anything else you can imagine. Text, save, or email your personal creation too! Free.
Pandora: Personalized radio that only plays music you'll love. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs, or classical composers and Pandora will create a custom "station" that plays similar music. Or, select by era and you'll return to those special days! Free.
Whether you have hundreds of dollars to spend or not a cent to spare, there's an app for you!
Rosemarie Nelson is a principal with the MGMA healthcare consulting group. She conducts educational seminars and provides keynote speeches on a variety of healthcare-technology and operational topics. Drawing upon her diverse experience, Nelson provides practical solutions to help medical groups succeed in their practices. She may be reached at www.mgma.com/consulting/nelson.