Thursday, 24 Aug 2017

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Tools, Brains & Organizers for Your Phone

Most people can’t live without their cell phone. But does the device define the modern medicine man and woman?  

For many, the work goes on with the help of Up-to-Date or Epocrates. But there are many other “apps” out there that may enhance, streamline and enlighten clinical care.  Whether you’re at the forefront of change or being dragged through it, staying abreast of these tools is almost a prerequisite for efficiency and accuracy in medicine.  Check out what’s on your phone and then read on. 

I asked five well-versed, modern-day, technophile rheumatologists what five apps they use to be a better physician and practitioner. Here are their answers.

Dr. Ronan Kavanagh – Galway Ireland

  1. 2do: a task management tool. Syncs between Iphone and Mac - Beats others hands down (as recommended by @psfuka)
  2. Evernote: I can’t live without the note taker (text / photos / Web pages). Free version available. Syncs across iPhone / android / Mac and PC
  3. Pocket: allows bookmarking of webpages and download for off line reading (I use it for downloading health articles from NYT / Guardian)
  4. Overcast: to keep up with all latest podcasts (health and otherwise)
  5. UpToDate: does what it says on the tin

Dr. Phillip Gardiner - Londonderry, N. Ireland

  1. UpToDate: at work for in depth reviews
  2. Rheumahelper: this is new; has all the scores and criteria
  3. Univadis: also new; Consult UK. As my UK drug reference
  4. Evernote: for organising my continuing professional development (CPD).  We have to record CPD for our annual appraisals. I take a photo of the CPD certificate in Evernote and store. Saves hassle.
  5. Mendeley: for sorting references
  6. Read by QxMD: scanning for research in non-medical literature

Dr. Suleman Bhana – New York 

  1. Epocrates: of course - dosing, AEs, pill pictures (for patients!), pricing
  2. UpToDate.com on either mobile or web browser
  3. Google Images: use for patient education. (example: pics of Lateral Epicondylitis)
  4. Google Translate: use to print out instructions in Spanish for patients. Just copy plain text English instructions and out pops Spanish Instructions. Print and give to the patient.
  5. FLIR One App + thermal imaging camera + iPhone: thermal imaging used for Raynauds, Inflammatory arthritis, and Takayasu (1 case). 
  6. Needymeds.org:  great resource for all available drug assistance programs for payment support
  7. Canadadrugs.com and Healthwarehouse.com to get generic colchicine or sildenafil at much cheaper prices for patients.

Dr. Paul Sufka - Twin Cities, Minnesota

For daily medical practice and/or education, I like the following:

  1. Instapaper: for saving articles to read for later (and putting it in a nice font with all the extra stuff stripped away). Some people prefer 'Pocket', which I haven't tried, but also gets good reviews. 
  2. Slack:  used to organize RheumJC (Rheumatology Journal Club on Twitter) and other communications, behind the scenes. Great for group collaboration. 
  3. 1Password: for organizing and automating hundreds of different account login names/passwords
  4. Task management apps: I'm currently using both 2Do (to organize multiple projects) and Trello (for daily to do lists). I was previously using Omnifocus, and might switch from 2Do back to this. 
  5. Nuzzel: this app finds the most shared Tweets and can email them to you in a daily digest. Best way I've found to make sure I'm not missing anything. (http://paulsufka.com/info-diet)
    If you want more ideas, here's a link to my ACR talk with notes: http://paulsufka.com/automation/
Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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