iPhone and iPad Apps

I have co-produced a number of apps. For most of my apps I have written all the code and contributed to the content. For one app iTennisElbow I acted as one of the medical advisors and chief bug tester.

My first app was iCalcRisk – a cardiac risk calculator based on the British JBS2 guidelines. It is a very simple iPhone app that was just a test of my programming skills. I briefly charged for it as i wanted to understand the app store process for paid apps. It is still available for free. Ive recently had an email asking if I’m going to update it? Probably not is the answer – in the UK QRisk has taken over as the preferred primary prevention cardiac risk algorithm and as there is a Qrisk app i don’t see any great point in updating the app.

I then launched the illustrated A2Z of Dermatology – my most popular app. Based on the award winning book by the husband and wife UK GP team of Dr Ian Williams and Dr Vivienne Ankrett this has short notes on a whole range of common UK dermatological conditions. Purposely light on treatments (as these vary from country to country and change) it aims to inform the health care worker about common conditions they may see. An iPad version with a simple built in quiz is also available. The original book won an Royal College of GPs award. The app doesn’t pretend to be 100% comprehensive. It covers the conditions that Dr Williams and Ankrett saw in daily practice while they were collating the book. If any dermatologists or GPwSIs have any photo collections and want to contribute further pages on subjects not covered please get in touch.

iMCQs in Dermatology was my first MCQ app. The idea came when a medical student who was sitting in with me was asked to leave by a patient. I thought having a quick 10-30 MCQs to do while waiting would be a good idea. I remembered being a medical student forever waiting for a tutorial or a ward round to start. Reading a text book was always difficult and boring but having a quick easy to hand MCQ test would be a good idea. As one of the things my surgery feels it teaches well is dermatology which isn’t usually covered well at medical school this seemed the best subject.

The initially 200, now 250, questions and answers in this app are written by Dr Charles Roberts a GP with Special Interest in Dermatology and one of my partners at www.sandbachgps.nhs.uk and are illustrated with photographs from his personal collection. It is aimed at medical students, junior doctors and especially GPs in training. Although some of the comments are UK centric – much of the app is applicable worldwide and it is the most popular iMCQ app so far.

iMCQs in Physiology was created in partnership with Dr Ian Kay, Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology at The Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an external examiner for a london medical school so the 100 questions are of particular relevance to medical students as well as physiology students.

iMCQs in General Medicine was originally written by me based on some of the images from the A2Z of Dermatology app as well another of Dr Williams and Ankrett’s books. It was last updated in May 2011. It has 450 questions on a range of topics and it lets the user choose which subjects to answer from. It is aimed at medical students and junior doctors doing general medicine and general practice.

iMCQs in General Surgery has 137 questions written by Dr Simon Gowda MBChB MRCS MRCGP on a range of surgical topics aimed at medical students and junior doctors in basic surgical training. Most questions have detailed answers to aid revision.

iMCQs in Pain Medicine has 100 MCQs written by Dr Pradeep Chopra MD. an american doctor who contacted me. Dr Chopra holds the prestigious appointment of Assistant Professor (Clinical), Department of Medicine, Brown Medical School, Division of Biology and Medicine and Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology (Adjunct), Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Chopra is double Board Certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology. His questions although more american in flavour cover anatomy and physiology of pain and are suitable for a wide range of countries.

I was approached by two GP colleagues; Dr Graeme Spencer and Dr Vicki Gilmore who also work in immediate or out of hospital (first response) care who were writing a book on their anecdotes and experiences to see if I could co launch it as an app so I created A2Z of Intermediate Care. Deliberately avoiding the text book approach it is subtitled “everything you want to know about pre-hospital care but were afraid to ask”. It is perhaps our most UK Centric app though some of the hints and tips will be relevant to other healthcare systems.

iMCQs in Biochemistry  contains 200 single best answer MCQs on the topic of biochemistry. The questions are written by Caroline Wardropper MA. Caroline studied Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) at Cambridge University, England and currently works in the healthcare industry. The Biochemistry iMCQs are aimed not only at Biochemistry undergraduate students but anyone who has an element of biochemistry is their course such as those studying Medicine, Dentistry, Biomedical sciences etc. The questions are designed to be used to complement your learning and revision by allowing you to check your knowledge and to provide additional learning points. The set of 200 questions, including some diagrams, covers all the Key subjects such as Proteins, Enzymes, Metabolism, Genetics and Biosynthesis.

In August 2011 we launched A2ZZZ of Hypnosis in collaboration with Dr Andrew Doyle a Cheshire GP and trained hypnotherapist. He has produced numerous recordings for his patients over the years and has been selling these as CDs. He wanted to know if they could be turned into an app. The iPhone made this very easy and the app is now on sale worldwide (currently excepting USA and Canada for insurance reasons!). For further information see the A2ZZZ of Hypnosis page

In January 2012 – I launched Xrays4Medics. The clinical content is written by Dr Richard Hawkins – Consultant Radiologist at Leighton Hospital, Cheshire. It contains 50 clinical cases based around radiographs where the Xray helps you make the diagnosis. Aimed at Junior Doctors, Other front line clinical staff and Medical Students it contains high res images and detailed explanations and answers. There are two parts to the app a Q&A section and a Xray look up section. The Q&A section presents a case, shows you the images associated with it and asks you what you think is going on. You can elect to see a formal report on the images (as if you had asked a radiologist for an opinion) and then you can see the answer. Although it doesn’t take the form of MCQs its intention is to make you think what would I do in this case. There are detailed answers with more images. The Xray lookup presents the same images but in an easy to find way so you can find them without going through the cases. More cases are planned as are other features later in 2012.

We are currently working on a couple of other apps – more info as it appears.

If you have a burning desire to create an app of your own either to add to my iMCQs or A2Z series or one of your own – please get in touch – I offer lots of free advice on app creation, can help write the app, help commision professional developers, get involved in bug testing or help with content.

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