An increasing number of physicians use smartphone apps as educational and reference tools to support clinical practice. However, the quality of medical apps varies and regulation is in its infancy. The College Library offers BC physicians access to apps that link to clinical information from established medical publishers.
While all clinical information should be appraised according to relevance and validity prior to application, the following resources are excellent starting points for locating reliable clinical guidance.
• Access Medicine offers an app for iOS and Android containing the current editions of Quick Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, Fitzpatrick’s Clinical Dermatology Atlas, Diagnosaurus, and Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests.
• The Audio-Digest app for iOS and Android provides lectures recorded from US medical conference presentations on topics in various specialties including family practice, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and others. The content is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for Mainpro-M2 credits and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada under section 2 (self-learning) of the MOC Program.
• The BMJ Best Practice app (iOS and Android) gives a user-friendly interface to patient-focused decision tools for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. The content is based on systematic reviews, meta-analysis, controlled trials, guidelines, and, where necessary, expert opinions. The app contains almost 1000 modules. The College has licensed Best Practice for registrants with library privileges as well as all UBC medical residents.
• The First Consult app is for iOS devices only. Like Best Practice, First Consult is a clinical decision support resource of evidence-based medical information for evaluation, diagnosis, clinical management, prognosis, and prevention. The app requires a free ClinicalKey account. Account set-up instructions are provided on the College Library’s website.
Visit the Apps and Audiovisual webpage for more information (www.cpsbc.ca/library/search-materials/audiovisual).
—Karen MacDonell, PhD, MLIS
Director, Library Sericves
This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
1. Nason GJ, Burke MJ, Aslam A, et al. The use of smartphone applications by urology trainees. Surgeon 2015:13:263-266.
2. Buijink AW, Visser BJ, Marshall L. Medical apps for smartphones: Lack of evidence undermines quality and safety. Evid Based Med 2013;18:90-92.
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