Mobile devices provide HCPs with convenient and rapid access to evidence-based information, supporting clinical decision-making at the point of care.
Many evidence-based software apps serve as useful bedside clinical decision-making tools. Printed medical references often used in disease diagnosis are now available as mobile device apps that provide information on diagnosis, treatment, differential diagnosis, infectious diseases, pathogens, and other topics.
Mobile apps can also help clinicians identify the appropriate scans or tests to order, decreasing unnecessary procedures and reducing cost of care. Lab test apps provide information such as: reference values and interpretation, causes for abnormal values, and laboratory unit conversions.
Mobile apps can also be used directly to conduct simple examinations for visual acuity or color blindness, as well as blood pressure or glucose level. Many apps are available to determine pregnancy due dates by using a patient’s sonogram and date of last period.
These apps have been said to predict pregnancy due dates more accurately than the paper wheels that had previously been the standard. Current treatment guidelines available at the point of care via mobile apps also provide a valuable
resource for HCPs.
Other mobile apps, such as medical calculators, use standard formulas to make calculations to determine risk scores and other measures, such as body mass index (BMI), body surface area (BSA), and proper drug doses.
Calculation of clinical scores or indices typically involves utilizing complex formulas that require several input parameters. Even if a HCP knows the formula, performing even simple clinical score calculations manually can be surprisingly time consuming and error prone in a fast-paced clinical environment.
In contrast, HCPs who use medical calculators do not necessarily need to know the formula for calculating a clinical score or index; they only need to enter the parameters to quickly produce a reliable result.
Calculate by QxMD is a free app that calculates heart disease and stroke risk based on various patient variables. Since the results are visual, this app can be very effective in communicating risks to patients during discussions about potential behavior change. Another free medical calculator called Archimedes is available through Skyscape.
In short, HCPs Use Mobile Devices and Apps in clinical decision making for the following:
- Clinical decision support systems
- Clinical treatment guidelines
- Disease diagnosis aids
- Differential diagnosis aids
- Medical calculators
- Laboratory test ordering
- Laboratory test interpretation
- Medical exams
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