Ten Must Have iPhone and iPad Apps for the Healthcare Provider

Are you a physician, dentist or other healthcare professional? Got a new iPad, iPod touch or iPhone (collectively know as iOS devices) for the holidays? Don’t know where to begin? No worries, sit back, relax, grab a cocktail and read this article, it’ll get you started on the way to increased productivity, less stress, greater efficiency and, hopefully, more free time to spend with your family and loved ones.

1. LogMeIn Ignition
2. Todo
3. Epocrates
4. Lexicomp
5. ACLS/ PALS Advisor
6. Dragon Dictation
7. DropBox
8 GoodReader
9. MobileMe
10. Find my iPhone

1. LogMeIn Ignition comes in handy anytime you are out and about and need to look up clinical information stored on your office or home computers.

It is also invaluable if your employee time tracking application or other key office program is not up and running, but needs to be and no one has authorized access to it, or is in the office to activate it. All you have to do is connect to the server or main work station through LogMeIn Ignition on your iPhone or iPad and use the remote computer like you would if you were sitting right in front of it, even if you’re 3,000 miles away over WiFi or 3G.

The LogMeIn Ignition app is $29.99 on the App Store and worth every penny. (On sale until January 4th for $19.99!)

2. Todo is an outstanding task manager that has separate apps available for the iPhone and iPad.

This app was available for the iPhone when the App Store launched in July 2008 and the developer has done a great job updating the program for each iteration of iOS, adding more flexible and comprehensive features all the while maintaining a straightforward and easy to use interface.

I personally love that you can set tasks to call, text or email someone and have access to their phone number or email address directly from within Todo. With Todo, your call or email will be initiated just by the touching someone’s contact information. Both apps are on sale until New Year’s Day for $0.99 each, which is a seriously great bargain as they usually run $9.99 each.

3. Epocrates provides a free component for prescription drug information. They have been around sine the Palm Pilot days and have a solid app for getting you the important information you need to help your patients out at any time of the day or night, even right at their bedside if need be.

There is a free version and paid tiered versions that will give you even more access to information, such as infectious disease treatment guides, ICD-9 and CPT codes, herbal medicine information, etc. A really great app, I used Epocrates on my Palm V back in 2000 and still use it, now on my iPhone.

4. Lexi-Comp is actually many different apps that provide a multitude of information on wide-ranging medical and dental disciplines. You can also opt to get software packages that include multiple databases including a complete solution called Lexi-COMPLETE that encompasses Adult and Pediatric prescription drug information, Harrison’s Practice, and Lab/Diagnostic Procedure information, among other things.

I use the Lexi-Comp Oral Surgery app that has multiple comprehensive databases including drugs, pathology and advanced medical emergency protocols specific for oral surgeons in electronic format that can be readily accessed in your office or at the hospital. The full-featured version comes at a price of $299.99 for the year.

There are numerous other Lexi-Comp databases that can be purchased separately depending on your needs that will also decrease its price.

5. ACLS and PALS Advisor are two separate apps that each have iPhone and iPad specific versions. The have a great layout and are easy to use to find your emergent answers quickly. If you are in situations where ACLS and PALS may be required to save a life where you work, these apps can support you.

The prices are as follows: ACLS Advisor iPhone version: $9.99, iPad version: $11.99; PALS Advisor iPhone version: $4.99, iPad version: $9.99. The versions for the iPhone and iPad are pretty similar in terms of layout and information, so if you were to buy one version for both your iPhone and iPad, I would probably just buy the iPhone version and enlarge it on your iPad.

6. Dragon Dictation is an outstanding voice to text dictation program. The medical mobile app is not out yet, however, one will be developed in the next 12-18 months.

In the meantime, you can dictate quite well in the vernacular and export those dictations to text, which can then be e-mailed or copied and pasted into any other app on your iOS device. This app is great for dictating recommendations to your colleagues or instructions for your employees while you are on the go.

7. Anyone with multiple computers or iOS devices knows the pain of being unable to access a crucial document when the need calls for it. No need to worry ever again with Dropbox. The service gives you a locker in the clouds, if you will. Just place the documents, photos, presentations or other files in that locker and you will have access to them on any computer (Mac or PC) and iOS device.

The service works by giving you up to 2 GB of storage for free on a server (more GB of storage will cost $9.99 or $19.99 depending on how much above the 2GB you want) and giving you access to those files from anywhere using a networked (connected to the internet) device. On your Mac or PC, the service actually sets up a folder that resides on your hardware and syncs those files with the cloud.

On your iOS device, the Dropbox app will have access to those files and allow you to obtain them wherever you may need them. Any changes made to your file on any of your devices, will sync automatically back (just the altered portion) to Dropbox to keep that file in sync across all of your devices. It also saves each version of that file so if you need to access an older version, you can!

This app is also great to share and collaborate on articles or presentations with your colleagues, attendings or fellow residents.

8. GoodReader is a terrific reader and file manager. It allows you to access files from numerous sources including Dropbox and MobileMe’s iDisk.

It stores the files locally on your device giving you the ability to access your files without an internet connection and allowing you to navigate through large PDF files as well as to manipulate font size and color for a better reading experience.

It can handle multiple file sources including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint presentations. Highly recommended!

9. MobileMe is a service that Apple offers for $99 per year (you can purchase a membership at Amazon.com for as low as $62.99 that allows your Mac, PC, iPad, iPod touch and iPhone to keep your contact, calendar appointments and emails wirelessly and effortlessly in sync with each other.

You also gain access to 20 GB of online storage that you can use to store photos and videos and share access with your friends and family anywhere in the world. This service is great for anyone with mission-critical contacts and/or calendar appointments that cannot be lost. It serves as a seamless back-up that comes in handy if you are away at a conference and lose your iPhone.

Although you can still access your contacts, emails and calendar appointments online, MobileMe causes all of your information to return to your new iOS device in a blink of an eye! Losing important data like that can generate significant stress or, worse, curtail your ability to earn a living.

10. Find my iPhone is a service provided by Apple that is free for every iOS device. It used to be a paid feature of MobileMe but, as of a few months ago, it is now free and available to every iOS user.

This app, once installed, has the ability to send a message to a lost or stolen iPhone, better still, it can actually track your iOS device to give you its general vicinity, helping you remember where you may have left it. an internet connection (WiFi or 3G) is required for this feature to work. A really useful feature if you find yourself abruptly and unexplicably without your iPhone!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of the above mentioned apps or services and your thoughts on them! Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to All!


  1. Hey, mark, you forgot to mention one more very good alternative: RHUB. Its iOS app can be used for remotely accessing computers using iPads, iPhones etc. It works well.

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