App Review: Medical Software Triple Play


If you work in the medical field as an Emergency Medical Techician, nurse,  doctor, etc. there’s two important things you need to administer effective treatment. Time and pertinent information about the injury or illness. Being an EMT, I can tell you from experience that we rarely have enough of either. So what do we do? We read lots of reference materials, and ask lots of questions when on scene. So to further aid you along in this field of continued learning here are 3 of the most widely known and used mobile medical reference software that’s been made available to the iPhone.

Starting with Epocrates Rx, a free drug reference guide whose strength lies in it’s pill identification and drug interactions database. Using only physical characteristics you can identify almost any unlabelled pill found at the scene of an incident. This is just one of the many tools available in Epocrates Rx. Also included are drug interactions, dosing, various medical calculators and up-to-date clinical and research information you get a lot without spending a dime.

If you require even more you can upgrade to the Premium Clinical Reference which is the paid subscription version by just tapping on the free trial from within Epocrates Rx itself. This upgrade adds many extras such as peer-reviewed disease content, evidence-based treatment options, alternative medications and a conscise infectious disease treatment guide.

A feature offered in both versions called DocAlerts gives you an outline on some of the latest clinical research information to review every time you sync to the Epocrates server. Should you want a more in-depth look on a particular subject in the DocAlert you can simply have it emailed to you to view the entire article at a later time.

Epocrates is not a dificult piece of software to navigate. Created in a dictionary/reference like format with the search tool permanently fixed at the top; finding information is relatively easy. If you have used Epocrates on any other mobile platform you should have no problem with Epocrates on the iPhone.


Next on the list is PEPID Elements which was created more with the doctor, nurse or medical student in mind. It’s designed to function as a clincal decision support information tool whose main focus is on toxicological emergencies. This resource provides the user with information for identifying and managing a broad range of emergencies from a simple over the counter drug overdose to the more exotic such as insect bites. Continually updated PEPID keeps you on top of the latest research and clinical information as it’s made available.

PEPID Elements is the core of their platinum series of specialty suites. With the platinum series you get more tools like drug interaction generators complete with information like dosing indicators and administration information. There are many more treatment based tools such as IV compatibility, lab manuals and even a symptom-driven diagnosis generator.

PEPID has also kept navigation simple with a similarly styled interface like the one found in Epocrates. So finding information should be a breeze.


The third application here is Skyscape which gives you access to a multitude of resources. Skyscape seems to have the largest library of the three with a current total of 41 individual reference applications for the iPhone alone. Skyscape is most noted from their Palm days with the 5-Minute Clinical Consultant application. They have since worked long and hard to offer as many services as possible in a mobile format.

Starting with Skyscape Medical Resources you get access to all their free offerings which includes a drug reference database, clinical medicine outlines an evidence-based resourse, Archimedics a medical calculator and MedAlerts an up-to-date medical journal and clinical trial resource. All basics for their richer more in-depth premium content.

Skyscape’s paid resources are variably priced as they target specific medical practices. So tailoring Skyscape to your specialty is at the heart of what makes this suite stand out from all the others. From their most famous 5-Minute Clinical Consultant to Hematology/Oncology or the more specific AJCC Cancer Staging Manual there is something for every level of medical professional.

Like the other two applications Skyscape also uses a similar dictionary/reference style interface for navigation and has kept all their mobile offerings in-line with each other to avoid large learning curves between mobile OSes.


As you can see I have only scratched the surface of what any of these applications have to offer. The wealth of information made available is incredible and makes any of these applications an excellent choice for any medical professional no matter the specialized field.

Each one requires you to sign up for a free account on their website allowing full access to all the content in their libraries. So I’d suggest using that to evaluate each one and view the subscription offerings before committing to any particular application suite. No matter which one you choose I’m sure you’ll find something that fits your medical practice needs. So check out Epocrates Rx , PEPID Elements and Skyscape Medical Resources in the App Store.


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