As more doctors use mobile devices, discover 10 of today’s top apps.
The Pew Research Center reports that 77% of Americans own smartphones. And U.S. physicians’ adoption of mobile devices appears to mirror that statistic. Forbes contributor Daniel Newman cites research showing 80% of doctors “already use smartphones and medical apps.” He says the trend shows how “digital transformation is revolutionizing patient care in new and exciting ways.”
Quick access to information about drugs drives many doctors’ mobile use (72%, to be exact.) But healthcare professionals can use mobile healthcare apps (mHealth apps) to do much more. Our own MDCodePro, for example, is a medical coding app that empowers physicians to learn and apply a streamlined understanding of CPT® coding guidelines for increased accuracy, regulatory compliance, and revenue. But mHealth apps can improve your medical knowledge, delivery of care, and patient outcomes in many areas.
If you’re wondering which of the many mobile health apps aimed at physicians you should download to your smartphone or tablet, here’s nine we suggest you consider. They might not all be right for your practice, but there’s more than likely at least one on this list that can lead you to your role in that “new and exciting” revolution in patient care during this digital age.
The List: Our 9 Need-to-Know mHealth Apps
The app version of the online medical knowledge library offers easy access to continually updated articles, practice guidelines, and patient education materials. Dr. Michael Wong notes the app’s History and Bookmark features may make it better than the website. Clinicians view UpToDate’s content one million times daily—and 30% of the time they change their decisions about care once they do. No less an authority than Harvard University associates UpToDate with improved patient outcomes.
Another well-established resource for keeping your clinical knowledge current, Epocrates is best known for its drug information database. “Prescribers can find what they need regarding drug dosing, interactions, adverse effects, and pharmacokinetics quickly and easily,” writes Melissa Murfin PA-C, PharmD, “without losing a lot of time with their patients.” CNET says half of registered U.S. physicians use Epocrates, and Capterra calls it “the gold standard of medical apps.”
A social network and professional platform with more than half a million U.S. healthcare professionals as members, Doximity encourages you to make new connections and consult with them about your cases. The app lets you communicate via email and HIPAA-secure e-faxes, so your patients’ confidentiality stays protected. “It may not be as fun or as sexy as a new consumer selfie app,” writes Carmel DeAmicis for Pando, “but Doximity… has the potential to save lives.”
- AHRQ ePSS
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s app lets primary care clinicians search recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for clinical preventive services that will benefit patients. In-app tools include questionnaires, calculators, and assessments. The app can help practitioners encourage, as former HSS Secretary Mike Leavitt said, “a society that thinks of staying healthy rather than simply being treated once we’re sick.”
Finding it tough to carve CME time from your busy schedule? Two apps from emergency point-of-care decision making specialist PEPID—its Emergency Medicine Suite and its Pediatric Emergency Medicine Suite—let physicians earn CME credit while working with patients. Meanwhile, a standalone app, PEPID Elements, earns praise for its toxicology section and differential diagnosis calculator. ER physicians especially value PEPID, but its apps also support nurses, paramedics, EMTs, pharmacists, residents and students.
- Read by QxMD
Read reformats peer-reviewed literature into a personalized digital journal. Easily follow keywords, specific journals, and whole collections. Download and annotate PDFs, share articles via social media, and publish new collections other app users can search. You can also track the CME credits you’re earning. “Read is a great way to stay current in your specialty’s literature,” writes Duke School of Medicine librarian Megan von Isenburg.
- Figure 1
Claiming “the largest active network of medical professionals in the world,” Figure 1 focuses on sharing medical images, especially of unusual pathologies. Physicians upload photos and caption them with questions, context, or diagnoses. The app’s face-blocking algorithm, photo editing tools and self-generated consent forms help ensure patients’ privacy. Dr. David Ahn was impressed with Feature 1’s fluid user interface, and wrote that it provides tools “to exponentially expand [the] innate physician’s inquisitiveness and desire to share.”
VisualDx made headlines in late 2017 when Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned it as a harbinger of AI’s medical potential. Practitioners snap a photo of a patient’s condition, and the app returns possible diagnoses by comparing the picture against its database of 32,000 images from carefully selected old slide and film collections—no new photo uploads or associated privacy concerns required.
MDCalc is a dedicated calculator app and, according to Dr. Douglas Maurer, one of the best available. “The evidence based medicine (EBM) components of the medical app are what really set MDCalc apart from its peers,” Maurer writes. Like the MDCalc website, the app tells you what the results it gives mean, summarizing and linking to critical studies, and suggesting next steps.
Make MDCodePro Your Go-To App for Physician Coding Education
While you’re installing these apps, don’t forget to check out MDCodePro, which we are confident is the best CPT® training and coding app available today. Numerous audits confirm that the methodology behind its powerful but easy-to-use Code Generator yields the most accurate and appropriate CPT® code for patient visits. And physicians to whom Dr. Alexander Stemer, MDCodePro’s founder, has taught the app’s underlying approach have seen their practice revenues rise, on average, by $30,000 once they start putting it into practice.
Because MDCodePro is much more than a CPT® quick reference app: It’s a convenient, simplified approach to physician coding education that makes it possible to memorize and master the day-to-day essentials of the complex CPT® coding regulations. In a short series of video lectures, you’ll find out all you need to know to document patient visits more thoroughly, comply with the regulations more closely, and claim the legitimate compensation to which your hard work entitles you more fully.
However busy you are as a doctor on the go, take time to get the MDCodePro app for your solo or group practice, hospital or health system, or medical billing office. Choose the plan that’s right for you and get started improving your coding and your compensation with MDCodePro.