7 Smartphone Apps for Doctors

May 31, 2010

Here’s a list of our favorite apps developed specifically for physicians’ diagnostic and information needs.


A few years ago “There’s an app for that” became the king of technology slogans, usurping the throne of “Can you hear me now?” The do-it-all technology of smartphones quickly moved from cool new gadget status to part of daily life for most working professionals. And the number of apps continues to grow at an astounding rate. You can get in on the action, too, with apps developed specifically for physicians’ diagnostic and information needs. Here are some of our favorites:

Epocrates - Available for all mobile platforms, Epocrates is one of the most popular apps for docs. The free version includes a pill identifier, drug interactions and information, and a medical calculator. If you’re willing to spend some money, the deluxe version (at $199) adds the databases and guidelines for the complete ICD-9 and CPT reference and medical dictionary.

5-Minute Clinical Consult - This all-platform-friendly app is a little costly ($55 to $80 options for various levels of subscriptions and updates), but promises to deliver evidence-based guidance on diagnoses and management of hundreds of conditions. It also includes medical calculators, treatment algorithms, and an ICD-9 code index.

Diagnosaurus DDx - This popular app includes more than 1,000 differential diagnoses and is searchable by disease, symptom, or organ system. Available on most smartphone platforms, Diagnosaurus is not intended to help you make a diagnosis, but helps you start forming the differential. And it’s only 99 cents for your iPhone.

Stat ICD-9 Lite - This free iPhone app (now with a search feature) includes all 13,000+ ICD-9 diagnosis codes for quick reference. The disease classification format promises for easy retrieval without typing. Other iPhone coding apps to check out are ICD9 and ICD9 Coder, both earning high marks from users rating them in the App Store.

Voxie Pro Recorder - There are tons of dictation apps out there, but this one is packed with bells and whistles - four audio quality settings, note-taking, and dictation, for example - for only $1.99 for iPhone. Other dictation apps to test out include DictateOnTheGo and myDictation Pro for iPhone, and AudioWav MobileMic and IQMax for Blackberry. The leader in voice recognition software for physicians, Dragon Naturally Speaking, also has a free app that’s worth checking out.

Quest Diagnostics Care360 Mobile - Designed for the iPhone or iTouch, this app lets physicians access lab and clinical information and prescribe medications. With the latest version, you can view lists of active problems, add notes and review patients’ notes, and more easily access a summary of the patient information. It’s also designed to be HIPAA-compliant.

MedScape - This self-proclaimed “most comprehensive medical app” has a little bit of everything. Free on iPhones, and coming soon for BlackBerry, this app includes drug reference and interaction guides, clinical reference with diseases, conditions, and procedures, plus medical news and CME.

Abigail Beckel is managing editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at abigail.beckel@cmpmedica.com.

Sara Michael is senior editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at sara.michael@cmpmedica.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of
Physicians Practice.