Mobile devices are used by health care students in a variety of ways: to log their experiences, to access information about medical conditions and drug treatment, to perform calculations, and to make basic notes.  They include apps for electronic prescribing, diagnosis and treatment, clinical decision making, and online learning. The examples below are not an exhaustive list but rather give a flavour of the types of apps that can be used to support medical training.

Examples of Mobile Apps

Daily Rounds  – Updated daily, this  digital journal provides clinical cases from medical schools around the world. Daily Rounds’ case-based, problem-solving approach gives medical students a first-hand look at new, relevant and well-curated clinical scenarios for a unique and ongoing learning process.

Epocrates  –  The free app provides users with Drug Information, interactions, pill identification, clinical practice guidelines, Formulary and athenaText.  A paid version with increased resources is also available.

MedCalX  –  This medical calculator provides access to complex medical formulas, scores, scales and classifications. Available in five languages with more on the way, MedCalX can be customised with favourite equations .

Medscape is a medical app for iOS and Android devices. The app is designed for healthcare professionals. It’s a big community of physicians where you can discuss and talk about cases and doubts.

Omnio is a free to download app from the United States providing medical information for reference purposes. There is a drugs guide, diseases guide, and medical news. You can bookmark resources to see them quickly.

The ability to download medical apps on mobile devices has made a wealth of mobile clinical resources available to medical students. Many mobile apps have made the practice of evidence-based medicine at the point of care more convenient

Information on apps can be of variable quality and may be subject to bias depending on how and where the apps have been produced. While many mobile medical apps have been available for years and are very popular, there is still a lack of data that support or identify the best approach to their use.

Other considerations
If as an educator you can’t find an app that does exactly what you want, there are tools on the market to help you to develop and publish your own. MIT App Inventor is an intuitive, visual programming environment that allows everyone to build fully functional apps for smartphones and tablets. Those new to MIT App Inventor can have a simple first app up and running in less than 30 minutes. The blocks-based tool facilitates the creation of complex, high-impact apps in significantly less time than traditional programming environments. The MIT App Inventor project seeks to democratise software development by empowering all people to move from technology consumption to technology creation.