Apps That Made Docs’ Top Ten Lists

January 4, 2011

As more doctors embrace smartphones, media tablets, netbooks, and other wireless gadgets, we're psyched to see what 2011’s “top 10” and “top 20” apps lists will look like.

From 2010 “In and Out” lists published by major newspapers to Billboard magazine’s annual “Top 10” hit-song lists, the New Year is as much about resolutions as it is about rehashing of the best and worst of the past year – through the process of making lists.

We got a head start this past May, writing up some of the best mobile-phone apps for smartphone-wielding medical professionals: “Epocrates,” “5-Minute Clinical Consult,” “Stat ICD-9 Lite,” “MedScape,” and a few other apps made the cut.

But just as one media outlet’s top 10 list is different from the next, each practice has its own idea of what medical apps - and mobile devices - are best for its day-to-day needs. And with dozens of medical apps coming out every month (not to mention Google’s new medical apps category in the Android Marketplace), “best of” apps lists are evolving beasts.

In 2010, Epocrates’ eponymous free and paid apps, designed to help docs identify pills, look up drug interactions, and more, scored high on Mobilehealthnews.com’s top 10 iPhone medical apps list, along with “MedCalc,” “Taber’s Medical Dictionary” and “Davis’ Drug Guide.”

Meanwhile, the team of physicians and med students who write the iMedicalApps.com blog finished off the year by expanding their top 10 favorite medical apps list to a blog post that highlighted 20 great ones for physicians.

In response to our original apps article, one doctor touted the “E/M Code Check Basic” coding app for the iPhone or Android phones. Another doctor suggested “Nextroom” because it helps practices “become more efficient while delivering care.”

And for those docs looking to make New Year’s resolutions for themselves, doctor and writer Michele R. Berman listed some of her favorite mobile apps for diet journaling and weight management in a December 2010 blog. The apps “PhotoCalorie,” “Lose it!,” and “LIVESTRONG” (the app version of Lance Armstrong’s Web site with the same name) made her list.

This gives us reason to believe 2011 will be twice as good as 2010, at least apps-wise.

But as more doctors embrace mobile technology, or supplement their smartphones with media tablets, netbooks, and other face-size gizmos, we can only wonder what 2011’s “top 10” and “top 20” apps lists will look like.

Will we see an influx of information-loaded apps or those with high-resolution visuals? How will implementation of EHRs and “meaningful use” influence popular apps lists in the coming months?
We’d love to hear some feedback from practices out there using these technologies. What are your favorite gizmos? Which apps are the most helpful for your mobile gadget of choice? Please post comments below or send an e-mail to marisa.torrieri@ubm.com.