15 Useful Mobile Apps for Medical Technologists
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Gone are the days when smartphone applications (apps) were still a new, hazy concept to the majority of the public and the most popular to download were simple games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds.
During the popularization of apps, computer scientists and medical professionals saw the opportunity to utilize the format to the benefit of the healthcare industry and joined forces to apply the format to innovate patient treatment. As a result, there are now countless apps that help patients monitor their health: e.g. their fitness, nutrition, and stress management. But there is also an increasing number of apps cropping up in the digital landscape targeted at the healthcare providers themselves.
Medical professionals around the world are already widely using a variety of apps to assist with diagnoses, patient tracking, pharmaceutical interaction data, and much more. According to mHealth Intelligence, 47 percent of doctors said they used smartphones in their daily interactions with patients in 2015 and that statistic is likely to have grown past the 50 percent marker in the past four years.
Medical technologists and physicians can get a great deal of fast, easy-to-parse information from the right apps—as long as they know which ones to use. The following apps should be particularly helpful for medical technologists.
Unless otherwise noted, the following apps are available for both iOS and Android mobile operating systems and can be downloaded from the App Store as well as Google Play.
Medical Technology Reference & Diagnosis Apps
While a hardcopy of the Merck Manual is still commonplace in most physicians’ offices, the mobile version is much easier to transport and includes the same information on a variety of disorders and diseases. One reviewer said the resource is “precious, because it allows me to give my best to every person who presents to me for care,” specifically for its ability to help connect unusual combinations of symptoms and point to possible diagnoses. The app is easy to navigate by symptom, section, or using the index. It is now free for download.
CALCULATE BY QXMD
Calculate by QxMD is one of the most popular clinical calculator applications available. The app collects information from recent research publications and organizes it into multiple specialties, namely cardiology, hematology, and neurology, which makes it useful for a diverse group of technologists. By answering a series of simple questions, the app can help to calculate different risk factors and diagnoses, making it an invaluable tool for technologists to improve their interface with physicians.
Notably, it has added translation in German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. With over 2.6 thousand ratings on iTunes and an average rating for 4.8 out of 5 stars, it’s safe to say this app is a universal favorite among technologists of different background and specialties around the world.
While medical technologists do not prescribe medication, it is still a good idea for them to be familiar with Epocrates, which is one of the top apps in the medical field. This free application contains a database of pharmaceuticals and can make physicians aware of possible adverse interactions and help to identify better patient solutions.
Some of its main features are its pill classifying feature, which helps verify the identity of mystery pills, as well as its database of national and regional formularies, which helps technologists easily determine if a patient has coverage for a prescription much more quickly. As one reviewer describes their experience with app, it’s “clear and concise and to the point and I can find what I need quickly.”
The LabGear app contains peer reviewed content for all healthcare professionals. This application contains a comprehensive library of medical lab tests including blood, hormone, cardiovascular, immunology, and others.
The app makes it easy for medical technologists and their colleagues to order and interpret testing of all types and comes in an intuitive and portable format. Users also write that the app stands out for its aesthetic appeal and ease of navigation. One reviewer said, “I love that it provides clear, concise information about each lab test, and give ddxs based on the results.” You can purchase it for $8.99 on iTunes or $6.99 on Google Play.
ICD-10 On the Go Mobile
Medical coding and billing is a necessary part of the job for many medical technologists. The ICD-10 On the Go mobile app is one of the top rated ICD-10 applications available, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
The app comes in handy for medical technologists who need to communicate quickly with billing and coding departments and can be especially useful for health information technologists who manage medical records themselves. Unlike competitor apps, users can add frequently referenced codes into a “favorites” folder. It’s available for download on iTunes for $7.99.
MOBILE MIM (FDA-APPROVED)
Designed by radiology software company MIM Software, Mobile MIM is a useful app for radiologic or MRI technologists. This application (when paired with the branded MIMcloud) allows technologists and physicians to actually view MRI results on an iPhone or iPad.
Specific features include the ability to review images, contours, DVH, and isodose curves from radiation treatment plans. Unlike many medical apps, Mobile MIM has been approved by the FDA. Navigating the app is easy and its portability means that consultations and diagnoses can be that much more flexible and efficient.
Whether you are a medical technologist, a physical therapist, or an undergraduate student with dreams of being a doctor, you could probably stand to brush up on your anatomy. The Visible Body human anatomy atlas mobile app is an interactive experience, offering full 3D views of all the human body systems. “The 3D graphics, as well, are accurate and beautiful to look at,” one reviewer wrote.
The company has continued to upgrade its library of anatomical images, now including nerve systems, vasculature diagrams, and others. While it is the most expensive app on our list, coming in at $24.99 to download, its users concur that the price is justified. The app has been reviewed by medical professionals for accuracy and totes a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on iTunes.
GAUSS APPS (FDA-APPROVED)
Any surgical technologist can tell you that assisting with surgery can be a stressful endeavor. Gauss offers a suite of apps that can make the job easier. Its Triton Sponge app is FDA-approved and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help track the amount of blood lost during a surgical procedure. The user can simply take a photo of the surgical sponges used during the procedure and quickly calculate how much blood was lost, which is much more accurate (and easier) than previous estimation methods.
Notably, Gauss’s apps have gained attention and accolades in major publications like Forbes and Bloomberg. Visit the company website to read about its suite of products and read download information.
iSURF BRAIN VIEW
While there are many apps that offer comprehensive anatomies of the human body, iSurf Brain View focuses specifically on neuroanatomy. Using “automatic segmentation to produce an automatic atlas of neuroimaging” based on real T1 MRI images, this app is a handy tool for students of neuroscience as well as seasoned medical professionals who need a quick reference tool for maintaining their own knowledge and educating patients.
The app provides 3D views of the brain anatomy from the lateral view, front, and bottom and contains a gallery of sample MRI results. Its color-coded interface allows users to click and display the name of the area or view images in an unobstructed view. It’s is available for free download on iPhones and iPads via the iTunes store and can also be downloaded to Macs for desktop use.
NEJM IMAGE CHALLENGE
While the NEJM Image Challenge app may not be the most useful in terms of clinical applications, it’s another fun tool for imaging technologists to use to stay on their toes. This app was created by the New England Journal of Medicine, which is one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals and is known for providing highly accurate and aesthetically compelling medical illustrations.
The app embodies the Journal’s standards of quality and aims to help users test and hone their diagnosis abilities by showing sample images, providing multiple choices for diagnoses in a quiz-like format. The app costs $2.99 in the iTunes App Store and is currently only available for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
UptoDate can best be described as a knowledge system. Since its creation in 1992—long before it was a smartphone app—the organization has provided physician-authored, peer-reviewed information to the medical community. The app-version of UpToDate was released way back in 2011, and has since gained a following of dedicated users. Its spectrum of medical data is continuously updated, making it a living app.
Additionally, UpToDate is an accredited resource for many different organizations, meaning some technologists can actually earn continuing education credits through use of the app. One longtime subscriber described his experience with the service, saying, “I was one of about four MDs in our multispecialty group of 40 using it. That number slowly increased, and now our group, up to 75 practitioners, has a site license,” adding that the app has enabled him to stop re-purchasing new editions of Harrison’s Internal Medicine and of Conn’s Current Therapy. Bonus: the app is free for download and available on iTunes and Google Play.
Cardiovascular Tech Apps
CARDIOSMART EXPLORER (FOR ACC MEMBERS)
For cardiovascular technologists, there is a number of mobile applications available to those who become Cardiovascular Team members with the American College of Cardiology.
CardioSmart Explorer is a free app that is particularly useful in enhancing the clinician and patient relationship with high resolution cardiac graphics and animations. Users can show patients a four-chamber view of a 3D heart, with or without the rib cage and tissue. There’s also a library of videos included to help educate patients about topics like coronary plaque developments, the logic behind stents, and more.
Another app that cardiovascular technologists may want to invest in is ECG Source. This pocket-reference style app gives a thorough overview of cardiovascular rhythms and 12-lead ECGs.
It is an ideal way for techs to review their knowledge and put it to the test with built-in quizzes. It has a library of searchable DCG diagnoses, more than 65 high-resolution samples ECG images, a five-question ECG quiz, and over 50 minutes of ECG tutorial videos for beginners. One five-star reviewer said, “Without question, [this] is the most useful study guide available online. Up to date and easy to navigate.” You can buy it on iTunes for $.99 or $2.99 on Google Play.
Healthcare Professional Networking App
Staying connected to other healthcare professionals is an important part of career development as a medical technologist. Doximity is a free mobile application and social network that is only open to physicians, medical students, and clinically-practicing healthcare professionals.
In addition to its networking capabilities, it features HIPAA-compliant faxing directly from the app, so users are able to share information about patients they are co-managing, saving them trips to the office to deliver printed reports. Its dialer feature also allows users to make calls to patients out-of-office without using a personal phone number, which is a user-favorite functionality.
DARIO DIABETES MANAGER
To finish off our list, we threw in a patient-focused app that is one of the top-rated for people with Diabetes. The Dario Diabetes Manager helps patients keep a constant eye on their blood glucose levels, featuring a logbook to safely store the history of patients’ blood glucose levels, diet and exercise, and carb intake.
Another innovative offering is its emergency “hypo alert” feature. Once enabled, the app sends a text message to up to four people with the patient’s blood glucose level and the smartphone’s current GPS coordinates. It also allows users to easily share info, charts, and statistics to their healthcare team.
It is available in more than two dozen languages and is available on both iTunes and Google Play for free download. However, necessary accompanying accessories for drawing blood must be purchased on the company’s website.