The real top ten iPhone medical apps

By Brian Dolan

MiM iPhone AppThere's been a flurry of "Top Ten (free) Medical iPhone Apps" lists gracing the homepages of a number of health blogs and publications this week. Because of the iTunes' AppStore's popularity, trying to pin down the Top Ten Free Apps in a given category is like trying to shoot a moving target. If you believe recent studies, chances are anyone who downloaded one of these apps last week won't be using it for much longer.

That said, the headline of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, because by tomorrow or even by tonight this list will probably be dated, too. Furthermore, I guarantee you these are not the true top 10 free iPhone Medical Apps.  There is no easy way to determine whether Apps are worth the time to explore right now and no authoritative source for mHealth app reviews. These are just the ones that happen to be getting the most downloads as of this writing.

But for the sake of at least timely reporting: Here are the real top ten iPhone medical apps, which include one new app that was not included on other lists and also sees some rank-shifting:

(RELATED: Curious to get an in-depth look at what types of health-related apps are available for smartphone users today? Be sure to check out our World of Health & Medical Apps report here! Includes close to 70 diagrams and charts breaking down the medical app landscape...)

1. Epocrates - This app lets users view continually updated clinical data, check for drug-drug interaction, identify pills by physical characteristics and perform medical calculations such as BMI and GRF. We wrote about it a few weeks ago.

2. Skyscape Medical Resources - Skyscape's app includes resources like RxDrugs, evidence-based clinical information on conditions and symptoms, Archimedes Medical Calculator, and MedAlert drug information.

3. EyeChart - The Snellen Eye Chart is an eye chart for testing visual acuity. The app instructs users to hold the iPhone eye chart about four feet away instead of the typical 20 feet.

4. MedCalc (medical calculator) - MedCalc is a medical calculator that gives the user access to an array of medical formulas and scores.

5. Taber's Medical Dictionary - Taber's Medical Dictionary app includes more than 60,000 terms, 1,000 photos and 600 Patient Care Statements. The app also offers definitions and other resources, including nutrition and alternative therapy, coverage, medical abbreviations, and units of measurements.

6. Davis's Drug Guide - Davis's Drug Guide provides info on more than 5,000 trade name and generic drugs. This app includes info on other drug/natural/food interactions, appendices with dose calculations, customizable bookmarking and patient safety infor.

7. Eponyms (for students) - Eponyms displays a short description from more than 1,600 medical eponyms (ex. Sheehan's syndrome, Virchow's node).

8. ShyBladder - ShyBladder helps those who have trouble getting things started in the restroom. The app offers three different sounds of running water. (Maybe others were too afraid to include this on the list? Seriously, its number 8.)

9. STAT ICD-9 LITE - STAT ICD-9 LITE provides all 13,677 ICD-9-CD diagnosis codes to the user's iPhone.

10. PubMed On Top Lite - PubMed On Tap Lite searches PubMed to provide and display reference information. The app includes EZproxy support, internal Web browser, option to email results in text or RIS form, advanced search options andthe ability to store and recall recent searches.

So which app is no longer officially in the top 10 because of ShyBladder? Cardio Calc. This app designed help manage patients with cardiovascular disease or hyperlipidemia by providing Framingham and Reynolds Risk scores as well as CHADS2 score.

Those are the most popular. Which Apps not listed here should be on the list but aren't?

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The image above is a series of screenshots from the MiM iPhone App, which didn't make the list.
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