Technology has changed--and continues to change--the practice of medicine. Health care providers access word processing programs, e-mail, and electronic medical records using desktop and laptop computers. Now, providers are accessing these same tools with handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, and "phablets" (a class of mobile devices designed to combine the form of a smartphone and a tablet).
Critical to the popularity and functionality of handheld devices are mobile applications, also known as "apps." An app is a self-contained program or piece of software designed to run on handheld devices to perform a specific purpose. App overload and app inaccuracy, however, are major problems. Health care providers do not have the time to search through thousands of medical apps in app stores to find specialty-related apps that might be useful in their practice--or to check the accuracy of those apps.
Vetted apps for ObGyns
My team's research has focused on identifying apps for ObGyns to use in clinical practice.1 In the process, we have developed the APPLICATIONS scoring system, which contains objective and subjective components to help differentiate among the accurate apps.2 This new quarterly "App review" series in OBG Management will showcase recommended apps for the busy ObGyn in the hope of improving work efficiency and the provider-patient relationship.