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A Half-Dozen Indispensable Apps For NPs and PAs

Apps in clinical practice? There is a dazzling — and often bewildering — array out there, all purporting to help you deliver better patient care. How can you decide which of these will best serve you and your patient?

We surveyed several sites and came up with a list of 6 highly recommended smartphone and tablet apps that address a variety of different clinical needs. Here — in no particular order — are brief overviews of each of these 6, and links where you can download them. We’ve also included links to various sites that offer more comprehensive lists by clinical subspecialty.

When You and Your Patient Use Different Words

Google Translate. This free app lets you enter English words or phrases that are translated into 1 of over 100 different languages. Google says “it’s like having a personal interpreter in your pocket.” The app even offers instant camera translation — show it a photo and it will instantly translate the image into text.

It Takes More Than an Apple a Day

Electronic Preventive Services Selector. With this free app, you can search the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on the web or on your mobile device. It is designed to help primary care providers identify those screening, counseling, and preventive measures that are best for individual patients. You can search by specific characteristics (the patient’s age and gender, for example).

Not for Docs Only

Doximity. This app is your portal to the biggest social network for physicians and advanced practice clinicians. You can connect with peers, stay abreast of the latest clinical news, earn CME credits, and research jobs and compare salaries.

It Does (Almost) Everything but Take the Patient’s Temperature

Medscape App. Another free app, this one lets you quickly look up medications and dosages; check for possible adverse drug interactions; access an evidence-based disease and condition reference; read the latest medical news; earn CME; and review various procedures in a step-by-step fashion. It also offers a tool for you to quickly identify pills, a collection of clinical images, and also formulary information so you can quickly see if the script you are writing is covered by the patient’s insurance.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

VisualDx. Rated a top medical app by Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, this is currently the only available medical app that provides images of various manifestations of a disease. A “one-stop shop for diagnostic clinical decision support,” the app can be searched by symptoms, signs, patient-specific descriptors, leading to a customized differential diagnosis. The app is used to validate a diagnosis and review therapeutic options. It’s data bank includes more than 40,000 clinical images.
This app requires a subscription to VisualDx.

This One is Worth a Shot

CDC Vaccine Schedules. Here’s an app for you if you recommend or administer vaccines. It shows child, adolescent, and adult vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in a format that mimics the printed schedules. It usually takes 2 to 3 clicks to identify correctly identify dosages and timing of various vaccines.

For more app recommendations, here are 4 good sources:

Last updated on 9/14/19.

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