4 must-have medical apps for doctors

Samar Mahmoud, MS | January 04, 2022

When the iOS App Store launched in 2008, there were only 500 apps available. Today, there are 1.85 million iOS apps and 2.56 million Android apps. Apps have permeated every aspect of our lives and it’s no wonder that medical apps have emerged as valuable clinical tools. But with an estimated 350,000 digital health apps, including medical, health, and fitness apps, how do doctors choose the best ones to increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace? 

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Three physicians wearing scrubs masks, and face shields consult. One is holding up a smartphone that the others can see.

Several apps offer options that facilitate the consultation and collaboration processes.

To help narrow the options, we’ve compiled a list of the best medical apps for physicians. 

Epocrates 

Epocrates is a leading medical reference app for doctors, boasting more than a million subscribers worldwide. 

Features 

  • Drug information: Epocrates has information on thousands of brand name, generic, and over-the-counter drugs. It also provides adult and pediatric dosing information as well as adverse reactions.

  • Drug interaction check: The app allows users to check for interactions for up to 30 drugs, herbs, or supplements, allowing physicians to adjust patient treatments. 

  • Pill identification: Pills can be identified using an imprint code or by shape, color, or scoring. Potential matches are shown with images as well as links to corresponding drug information. 

  • COVID-19 news: Originating as a pharmacology tool, Epocrates has since added additional features, including access to COVID-19 breaking news and resources. 

  • CME opportunities: Epocrates offers educational articles, videos, and podcasts to allow users to earn CME credits.

  • Subscription Epocrates version: For $16.99 a month, subscribers can access all the above, as well as advanced features, which include lab and diagnostic information, such as ICD-9 and ICD-10, alternative medicines, infectious disease treatment, and disease information.

Doximity 

Doximity is a medical networking app for physicians. More than 80% of doctors in the US are verified members. The app streamlines healthcare communication and collaboration.  

Features

  • Dialer: Doctors can conveniently communicate with patients using voice or video calls from their cell phones. Physician privacy is protected by way of a customizable CallerID that can reflect an office number instead of a personal cell phone number. Calls are encrypted and never recorded, to comply with HIPAA regulations. If your patient is late for a telemedicine appointment, Doximity allows you to hang up and get a notification when the patient has entered the video conference. The free version of the dialer allows users unlimited 1:1 visits with a maximum time of 40 minutes. 

  • Physician directory: Doximity allows doctors to easily communicate and consult on cases without worrying about violating HIPAA violations. Doximity also has a HIPAA compliant fax option to allow physicians to send, sign, and date faxes all from their cell phone. 

  • CME opportunities: Doximity offers free articles, giving doctors the opportunity to earn category 1 CME credits. 

VisualDX

VisualDx is a clinical reference and decision support tool with a focus on skin 

diseases. The app aids the diagnosis of these diseases, which can be a challenge for many healthcare providers due to variabilities in disease presentation. A VisualDX subscription is free for the first month and costs $49.99 a month after that for individual use. 

Features

  • Medical image library: The VisualDX library consists of more than 42,000 images showing various disease presentations. The app is committed to bettering the diagnosis of patients of color and includes a feature to help physicians diagnose patients with darker skin types. 

  • Differential builder: Users can search using their patient’s chief complaint to obtain a differential diagnosis that receives a strength score.

  • Medication adverse events: VisualDX has a database of adverse reactions caused by specific drugs. The results provide images as well as evidence and treatment guidance. 

  • Sympticon: This feature allows users to visualize symptoms of diseases with an emphasis on variable presentations, allowing physicians to quickly and accurately diagnose their patients. 

  • CME opportunities: Similar to the previous apps, users can also earn CME credits when using VisualDX.

  • Patient engagement handouts: VisualDX provides information specifically for patients. The app includes patient handouts for more than 200 of its top diagnoses. 

Medscape

Medscape is a one-stop shop for doctors, consisting of myriad free features that can expedite patient diagnosis as well as keep doctors up to date on breaking medical news. The app has information on more than 8,500 drugs and contains more than 6,200 reference articles to support clinical decision-making. 

Features

  • Clinical tools: Similar to Epocrates, Medscape has a drug interaction checker, pill identifier, and general calculators. 

  • Breaking medical news: Medscape provides users with tailored news based on their specialities. Users can see FDA approval alerts and clinical trial data in real time. 

  • Medscape consult: Using this feature, physicians can collaborate and solve complicated patient cases. 

  • CME opportunities: Physicians can keep up-to-date using a variety of sources that cover thousands of topics. 

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