Medical Apps for the iPhone: Diagnosaurus, ICD9 Consult, and WellAdult | Tech Medicine

Medical Apps for the iPhone: Diagnosaurus, ICD9 Consult, and WellAdult

As of this writing, there are over 400 medical applications in the iTunes App Store. Whether you're a health care provider or patient, and whether you have an iPhone or iPod Touch or not, it's worth exploring the impressive range of applications available for this new mobile platform. (Later this year, when iPhone 3.0 is introduced, these applications will be able to interact directly with compatible medical devices, like glucometers and blood pressure monitors.) Here's a brief introduction to three medical apps in the iTunes App Store.

Diagnosaurus. Many medical specialties—and Internal Medicine in particular—require working through a "differential" of possible causes of  a patient's clinical presentation. Diagnosaurus ($.99) provides a polished interface for searching differential diagnoses for over 1000 conditions, divided by organ systems, symptoms, and diseases. As a bonus, at the end of each list is provided a list of links to related differentials. For example, "acute hepatiis" and "cholestatis" are listed at the end of "AST/ALT increased." Much like Wikipedia, you can spent half an hour browsing and clicking through links. For $.99, it's a steal.

ICD9 Consult. Health care providers must frequently scramble to come up with ICD9 codes for unusual or complex diagnoses in order to bill appropriately. ICD9 Consult ($29.99) is an excellent solution for those moments when you don't have time to consult a thick book or spend time seaching online for the right code. It allows you to easily search through the different codes or browse by type of disorder (infections, circulatory, respiratory, etc.) or procedure. At $29.99, it's not cheap, but if it saves you enough time, it's worth it.

WellAdult. The guidelines for optional clinical preventive services for adults—when to perform cholesterol tests or colonoscopies, for example—are scattered among many different expert organizations and are sometimes contradictory. WellAdult ($2.99) provides an easily navigatable database of recommendations from all major organizations for adults of different ages. Click on "Women Ages 50 - 64," for example, and you can easily compare the reommendations of different organizations for testing lipids, blood pressure, vaccinations, and cancer screening. For $2.99, this app is well worth it.

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Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.