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https://saskhealthauthority.libguides.com/mobile/appofthemonth

To keep you updated on the go, we highlight a free medical app each month!

Librarian reviewers from Saskatchewan Health Authority and Alberta Health Services consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:

  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily the user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria is embedded in the review.

Note: Reviewers are not healthcare professionals and don't appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. Reviews are not meant as endorsements.

Medscape

Medscape

Reviewers

Nicole Loroff (Alberta Health Services) & Catherine Young (Saskatchewan Health Authority)

Version reviewed
Apple iPhone Version 5.11.6; Android App Version 4.8.1

Device & OS used

Apple iPhone 8, iOS 11.4.1 (Nicole); Samsung Galaxy Tablet E 9.6", Android 7.1.1 (Catherine)

Date of review

August 24, 2018

 

Image Source: Medscape, Apple App Store. ​Retrieved on September 5, 2018 from https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/medscape/id321367289?mt=8​

App developer

WebMD, LLC.

Contact

No specific contact information is listed in-app. However, in the Help section under the general menu, there is an option to link to the Online Help Center, which further links to a Contact Us page on the main Medscape website:

https://help.medscape.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Devices

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch 

Requires iOS 10.0 or later

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/medscape/id321367289?mt=8

Last updated August 22, 2018 (version 5.11.7)

 

Android phones and tablets

Require 4.0.3 and up

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.medscape.android&hl=en_CA

Last updated August 6, 2018 (version 4.8.1)

Country of origin

United States

Size

30 MB (Android), 54.3 MB (Apple)

 

Specialties/ Disciplines

The app covers a wide range of medical specialties and disciplines.

Comments

The purpose statement for Medscape specifically mentions physicians, medical students, and nurses as the primary audience, but the robustness of the app makes it appeal to a variety of health care professionals.

 

Stated purpose

“Medscape provides fast and accurate clinical answers at the point-of-care and is the leading medical resource for physicians, medical students, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. 

Using Medscape Consult, physicians can access a community of more than 250K physicians worldwide to share cases, ask questions, and benefit from their knowledge and diverse experiences. Discuss clinical challenges and crowdsource the answers in a 24/7 moderated environment.”

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/medscape/id321367289?mt=8

Medscape can be downloaded for free but does require new users to register for an account.

The app is available in English, German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Notes

According to the About page in-app:

“Medscape Mobile provides the most comprehensive set of tools to support clinicians with all of their professional needs, including decision-making support at the point-of-care, medical news and perspectives from thought leaders across medicine, engaging CME courses to support professional development, and much more.”

The About page can be found in the Help tab under the general menu.

 

Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

 

Advisory Board for Medscape Drugs & Diseases: David Chelmow, MD John Geibel, MD, DSc, MA Lars J Grimm, MD, MHS James Lee, MD David J Maron, MD, FACC, FAHA Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA Kathy D Miller, MD Thomas M Wheeler, MD (https://reference.medscape.com/public/edreference)

It appears that Medscape has multiple editorial or advisory boards for the various medical specialties it covers. There is no information regarding specialty editorial/advisory committee(s) or forwarding links available in-app. Individual entries that do include author information also list the chief editor responsible for the entry; affiliations and disclosures are stated. However, the inclusion of author and editor information is not consistently applied in some sections for the app.

No grading system was used in the development of materials. 

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

Overall, each entry under Conditions and Procedures is well organized and supported, with clear indication of where relevant evidence is being used and sourced from. However, the same attention to detail is not afforded to other parts of the app. In particular, the drug monographs (under the Drugs section) are said to be based on FDA labelling information and other primary medical literature, but there is no references or in-text citations included. 

Organization of information

The app has a simple and easy to understand organization. The home page (Drugs & Diseases) provides the following navigation:

  • Drugs
  • Conditions
  • Procedures
  • Drug Interaction Checker
  • Pill Identifier
  • Calculators
  • Formulary
  • Directory

A drop-down general (top left corner) menu also provides access to:

  • Drugs & Diseases
  • News & Perspective
  • CME & Education
  • Specialties (selection customizes news on homepage)
  • Invitations
  • Saved Content
  • Data Updates
  • Help/Feedback
  • Notifications

In regard to content, the various subsections under Drugs & Diseases (the main portion of the app), are also well organized into different parts that are easy to understand and navigate.

Navigation

Navigation is mainly hierarchical, with content categorized based on intuitive topics that narrow as the user moves along the pathway to find specific information. There is also a back arrow provided throughout, so that navigating to the home page is quick and easy. ​

Extras

Medscape provides a number of customization options:

  • Saved list of articles, drugs
  • Share content via email or Facebook
  • Adjust text size
  • Add a drug monograph to the interactions module
  • Push preferences – follows, replies, mentions
  • Medical specialty selection (customizes News & Perspective and CME & Education parts of the app. Located in general menu)
  • Formulary (only for US states)
More

Internet connection required for use: No

Text search field: Yes

Browsable content: Yes

Advertisements: Yes

Pop-up advertisements: Yes

In-app purchases: No

There are over 100 calculators available relating to a variety of conditions, which also include notes and references.

Drug monographs are a major part of the app, however, supporting evidence for the monographs is unclear. 

Additional notable features include a Drug Interaction Checker for quick reference of potential negative interactions between two or more known medications, and a Pill Identifier for unknown medications.

We'd love to hear from you!

Do you have an app suggestion or have questions/comments about the App of the Month feature? Let us know!