15 Most Forward-Thinking iPhone Apps for Doctors & Nurses


July 21st, 2010

It’s amazing how much we use our phones for anything but phone calls. The widespread use of applications, driven by the explosion of iPhone sales, has helped to redefine just what we’re able to do with our phones in all walks of life and work. The medical profession has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of iPhone app development, with life-changing tech showing up in nursing schools and hospitals nationwide. Some gather information from patients in new ways, while others help medical professionals better sort and understand that information. They’re all designed to help those in the medical field do their jobs in revolutionary ways. Here are some of the most forward-thinking and revolutionary iPhone apps out there for doctors and nurses:

  1. e-911: Emerging Healthcare Solutions is developing an app called e-911, which would allow a user to store critical personal medical information that’s sent to health care providers when they dial 911 from their iPhone. The benefits are clear and enormous: Instead of wasting time discovering a medical history, first responders would know instantly what the victim’s medical past looked like.
  2. Epocrates: One of the most popular free medical apps available for the iPhone, gives doctors and nurses up-to-date information on thousands of drugs, lets them identify pills by physical description, and describes the effects of combining different drugs. A Stanford university doctor even made a video about how much he loves it. (Free)
  3. ICD9 Consult: Never go hunting through a book to find a code again. This app lists ICD9-CM diagnosis codes and lets you search and browse by category. It includes more than 21,000 individual codes, making it a phenomenal portable tool for medical professionals. ($14.99)
  4. Human Body Advanced Encyclopedia 3D Anatomy: Don’t let the clunky title fool you: Doctors and nurses everywhere should have this app on their iPhones. The app includes three-dimensional renderings of the body’s 14 anatomical systems as well as the ability to see all sides and angles of organs. It’s like having an anatomy textbook in your back pocket. ($3.99)
  5. Medscape: From the WebMD people, this is a fantastic all-purpose app that’s packed with information on brand-name and generic drugs, clinical procedures, and more than 150 videos. (Free)
  6. iRadiology: This app for students is also a good resource for doctors and nurses who’ve been working for years. It features more than 500 images designed to help users hone their detection skills and become better at reading film, CT, and MRI images. It’s a smart, progressive app because it operates under the assumption that knowledge is something you constantly build, and it helps medical pros stay at the top of their game.
  7. Reach MD CME: This is an awesome app for doctors and nurses looking to further their education in unique and time-saving ways. Reach MD CME is an accredited app for continuing medical education that lets you download and listen to medical programs and then take the certification test all on your iPhone. (Free)
  8. NeuroMind: NeuroMind is a smart, thorough app that helps residents and surgeons by acting as an index for a variety of brain-related surgical topics. It also provides a checklist of Safe Surgery items from the World Health Organization. (Free)
  9. Drug Trials: If you’re a doctor or nurse, you need this app. Drug Trials is all about the latest drug tests, whether it’s an established drug being tested in new ways or an entirely new product being tested for the first time. This is one of the best ways to stay informed about what’s happening in drug research, and it also includes facts like eligibility requirements. (Free)
  10. Informed RN Pocket Guide: The $9.99 cost is more than most apps, but nurses get a lot for that price with this in-depth app. The Informed RN Pocket Guide is a PDF version of the printed book, and it features a ton of helpful information nurses need to know, including metric conversions, pain assessment tools, pediatric care information, and even Spanish translations. Worth the buy.
  11. Nursing Central: I take it back: This app is the pricey one. Nursing Central requires a subscription payment of $159.95 before you can view the content, but if you can afford it, it’s a worthwhile purchase. The constantly updated database covers more than 5,000 drugs, and it features info on all manner of diseases and treatments plus a dictionary with more than 60,000 (!) entries. If you don’t know it, this app does.
  12. Nursing Pharmacology: A handy app for nurses that features flash cards designed to teach you the ropes of nursing pharmacology. Basic features, but helpful. ($0.99)
  13. PubMed on Tap: This is the full version, not the lite one. The PubMed on Tap app searches PubMed for reference info and then lets you store PDFs or e-mail the results to yourself or someone else. For medical pros on the go, or those who need to do some quick research away from the computer, this app is a life-saver. ($2.99)
  14. Skyscape’s Medical Bag: Call it the digital version of the classical little black doctors’ bag. This app includes a number of helpful tools, including more than 100 medical calculators and multiple articles on life support. ($1.99)
  15. iMurmur 2: This app is a great fit for practicing doctors as well as med students. It’s got a library of actual recordings of different heart sounds, complete with accompanying descriptions and phonocardiograms. A must-have for cardiologists or any pro looking to brush up on the heart. ($2.99)

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