Essential Medical Apps in Pediatrics

From keeping track of patients and writing prescriptions to reading your favorite medical journals, there are almost certainly more than a few medical apps to help you get through your day a little more efficiently.

Learn which medical apps are available and should be on every pediatrician's iPad and iPhone.

Mother using cell phone and holding newborn baby
Pediatrics Apps. KidStock/MNPhotoStudios / Getty Images

BiliTool isn't an app. It's a website that uses the latest AAP guidelines to help you figure out if newborns are low risk, intermediate risk, or high risk from hyperbilirubinemia. Enter the baby's age and total bilirubin and get the baby's risk stratification and any guidelines for phototherapy.

Although not available as an app, if you go to their website in Safari, you can easily add the page to your home screen, so that you don't have to manually launch your browser and find the site's bookmark.

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The LactMed Drugs and Lactation Database from the U.S. National Library of Medicine is an easy-to-use reference about which drugs are safe to use while breastfeeding. And more importantly, it offers clear advice on which drugs to avoid and safer alternatives. From antibiotics and allergy medications to drugs for depression, the Lactmed app provides a handy reference for pediatricians and other doctors who give advice to breastfeeding mothers.

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Pedi QuikCalc does all of your common pediatric calculations for you.

From calculating BMI and mid-parental height to changes in a child's weight from visit to visit (handy for newborns who are losing weight), this app does it all.

It also includes drug dosage calculators, BP percentile calculator, growth chart percentile calculator, and can figure out IV rates for you.

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The Monthly Prescribing Reference or MP is a go to drug formulary for many pediatricians.

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The Allscripts ePrescribe app allows you to prescribe new medications and authorize refills for your patients on your iPhone or iPad, without writing a paper prescription or having to call a pharmacy.

Parents like when you use the Allscripts ePrescribe app because they don't have to drop off the script at the pharmacy, pharmacists like it, because they don't have to try and decipher what the doctor was trying to prescribe, and your staff will probably like it too, as they won't have requests to call in scripts anymore. The app is free, but you will want a subscription to ePrescribe Deluxe to use all of the features.

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Read AAP News, the official news magazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics on your iPhone or iPad.

The AAP News app includes current and past issues of AAP News, a news feed, and it saves your favorite bookmarks from each issue.

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The official apps from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention can help you stay up to date on vaccines, flu, concussions, STD treatments, tickborne diseases, and look up safety statistics.

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Epocrates Rx app

Epocrates Rx is a free drug reference or formulary with information on prescription and OTC drugs, including drug interactions and pediatric drug dosing.

The app even lets you check drug pricing to see what common drugs cost and helps you find lower cost generics, when appropriate.

Keep in mind that you do have to view DocAlerts that are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies to use the free drug databases.

GoodRx helps you find the lowest cost prescription medications for your patients. It also gives you access to money saving coupons that you can give your patients, even for generic drugs.

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Infant Risk Center

Get access to over 20,000 prescription and non-prescription medications to see if they are safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Although the app isn't free, like LactMed, it does have the benefit of a clear rating system that tells you if a medicine is safest, safer, probably safe, possibly hazardous, or hazardous.

You can also see safety information by trimester or stage of breastfeeding or search by condition to see a list of safe medicines. And if you still need help, call the Infant Risk Center for more advice.

The UpToDate Mobile app gives you access to your UpToDate subscription on your iPad or iPhone.

Find out what's new, including the latest guidelines in pediatrics, or search for information and advice on just about any other medical topic you can think of, from treating ear infections the contraindications for a kidney transplant. The UpToDate Mobile app also gives you easy access to all of the UpToDate calculators, including maintenance fluid calculations, BMI and blood pressure percentiles, and a height predictor.

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Converter Plus is a handy unit converter that can convert area, energy, speed, and force units and almost anything else you can think of.

Pediatricians will find the ability to easily convert temperature and weight units the most useful.

It also includes a BMI calculator, a Gradient tool, Tip Calculator, and the ability to make your own templates to do just about any conversions and calculations you want.

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Like Epocrates Rx, the Medscape app includes a drug reference library, with pediatric dosing, and drug interaction checker, but also includes clinical information on over 4,000 diseases and conditions and a guide to common procedures and protocols.

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Most medical apps on your iPhone or iPad will simply save you a trip to your office to look something up in a book. While helpful, if you want to do something really cool, get the Care360 app from Quest Diagnostics. Even without using the EMR parts of the app, with a username and password from Quest, you can look up any recent labs that you have ordered from Quest Diagnostics.

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Like the Care360 app from Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp Beacon lets you look up recent lab results on your patients who went to LabCorp to have a test done. Looking up lab results on your iPhone or iPad comes in handy when you aren't in the office or if you are seeing a patient and the results haven't made it to the chart yet. You can also quickly scan for alerts or critical lab values, just in case you missed the call from the lab.

Although the LabCorp Beacon Mobile app is free, you do need a username and password to use it. Call your LabCorp rep to help you get one or use the User Name "user" and Password "pass" to try a demo of the app.

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Read abstracts from Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics on your iPhone or iPad.

The Pediatrics app includes current and past issues of Pediatrics, a news feed, and it saves your favorite bookmarks from each issue. You can even read early release articles from next month's issue, as they are released each week.

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Kno is an app that lets you read e-textbooks on your iPad.

Although there are other options for reading pediatric textbooks on your iPhone or iPad, Kno is becoming popular because of the extra features that make it easy to search, save, and highlight text.

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In medical school, it is easy to look up and read almost any medical journal you want, as most of them are right there and you are often in the library.

It gets a little harder in and after residency when you don't necessarily have time for a trip to the medical school library every time you want to read about something. PubMed on Tap makes it easy again, giving you access to PubMed and all of their MEDLINE journals. Of course, you will need extra privileges to read the full-text articles of many of the journals.

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Having a reference for the 2011 immunization schedule on your iPod or iPhone can be helpful, especially if a child has missed one or more shots.

The Shots app by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine provides the child, adolescent, and adult immunization schedules from the CDC, in addition to the Catch Up schedules for kids.

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Doximity is an online social networking service for doctors that allows that to communicate with each other via HIPAA-secure messaging and eFax.

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The Pediatric Care Online app provides access to the Pediatric Care Online service from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Requiring a yearly subscription, Pediatric Care Online includes a pediatric drug reference, the Bright Futures Guide, an Antimicrobial Therapy Guide, and more.

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Although the Eye Test app includes a Snellen Eye chart to test visual acuity, it also includes a set of Color Tests that you can use to screen for color blindness.

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Merck Medicus app

The Mobile Merck Medicus App includes several helpful clinical resources, including The Merck Manual, Harrison's Practice, and the Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests.

Harrison's Practice is useful, as it includes a symptom guide, ICD-9 codes, and drug monographs.

This is the app for the pediatric supersite, which is the home of the journals Infectious Diseases in Children and Pediatric Annals.

You can read news, blogs, select articles from other pediatric journals, and the current issue of their journals.

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The PLoS Reader app allows you to read articles from the PLoS Journals on your iPad. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) publishes seven peer-reviewed open-access journals, including PLoS Medicine, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogens, and PLoS ONE, which covers all areas of science and medicine, including pediatrics.

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The ScienceDirect app allows you to find and read journal articles and books from Elsevier, at least the ones that you are subscribed to. It is a great resource if you have access, as titles include The Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatric Clinics of North America, and Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, etc.

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A simple drug formulary. Look up drugs by name or class. Some health care providers may like that it doesn't have all of the extras of ePocrates and Medscape when all you want to do is look up a drug's dose or how it is supplied.

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Many doctors with a science background get used to using an RPN calculator in college. Even if you don't still have your HP scientific calculator or even need a programmable calculator anymore, you can still get an RPN calculator on your iPhone or iPad with PCalc Lite.

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