Apps for Journals, Oncology Meetings, and Connections
Michael Fisch, MD, suggested adding apps for ASCO's journals, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of Oncology Practice, to my iPhone.
I also refer to ASCO's Cancer.Net* and the Conquer Cancer Foundation*,
to share information with patients and for my own use.
ASCO's iPlanner* and ASH2011* were very helpful for putting together my personal itinerary for those annual meetings.
Expensify* is a great app to use for planning business or personal trips.
RL Classic* is useful a useful app for scanning quick response (QR) codes. (Laura Strong, @scientre on Twitter, offers useful comments on using QR codes for meetings: http://thenextelement.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/social-media-after-asco/.)
Productivity and Efficiency Apps
Kindle* has an app that allows you to read books on your iPhone or iPod Touch, without a Kindle reader.
Dropbox* allows storage of many files in the cloud. It's great for traveling, and is better than a USB flash drive as long as you have internet access.
MiniKeePass is useful for password storage.
Evernote* allows creation of “to do” lists and syncing for an individual or a group project. I use it to keep track of speaker lists, project timelines, etc.
Vocre can transcribe speech to text, translate it into another language, then speak the text it has translated.
Key Ring* combines store, discount/club, and loyalty card information (plus store contact information) in a single app, to lighten your wallet.
Taxi Magic is great to have when traveling, as it can be used to book a cab in more than 40 American cities.
Recommendations From Others
A few recommendations from oncologist friends and colleagues include two recommended by Curt Quinn, MD, for thoracic surgeons:
iBronch, which diagrams specific airways; and
CTSNet Wiki notes, a thoracic surgery review.
Scott Koss, MD, suggested three good apps related to interventional radiology:
iAnnotate is for viewing, modifying, and storing pdf files;
Penultimate is useful for patient education (Dr. Koss imports images and uses a stylus to educate the patient on what tumor areas will be targeted); and
Keynote is good for presenting information to a small group without a projector.
The iMedicalApps Perspective on Android Smartphones, by Satish Misra, MD
When it comes to mobile devices and apps, the iPhone generally gets the most attention. After all, it's the device that made the cell phone into a smartphone. The fact is, however, that Android has now captured a larger market share than iPhone, and there are just about the same number of apps available for both platforms. While the iPhone does still hold a substantial lead among physicians, those among us who own or are considering Android devices are probably wondering what is available for them.
In the apps highlighted by Dr. Thompson, I have flagged those which are also available on Android. As anyone can see, many apps available for iPhone are not available for Android. While the reverse is also true—many Android apps are not available for iPhone—that generally doesn't hold for medical apps. Android does have some advantages over the iPhone, however.
As an open platform, Android gives its users much more flexibility in customizing their device. For example, apps like Tasker and Beautiful Widgets let you customize your home screen. With Tasker you can create different home screens for work, home, and so on.
Android users also have widgets, which allow users to view information from their apps on their home screen without actually having to open the app. For example, Extended Controls let you control features like WiFi, Bluetooth, and others from your home screen. With Pure Messenger, Pure Calendar, Flightview, Scoreboard, and Twitter widgets, you can see your text messages, calendar, flight information, the latest sports scores, and your Twitter feed from your home screen, rather than having to cycle through five different apps.
Another advantage Android users have is that they have Google in their corner. As a result, Google's cache of apps is frankly better on Android. For example, Google Maps on Android features navigation capabilities, including indoor navigation and street-view turn-by-turn, which are not available on the iPhone. In particular, Google's updated Gmail client on their Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) platform functions beautifully, and it vastly outperforms the mail client on iOS.
In the end, Android and iPhone have their particular strengths and weaknesses. For more help in making your mobile device work for you, I recommend our website, iMedicalApps.com, which offers insights into mobile health and reviews of more than 200 medical apps, all from a dedicated team of healthcare professionals.
Dr. Thompson thanks Michael Fisch, MD, MPH, Scott Koss, MD, and Curt Quinn, MD, for sharing their app recommendations in this article. He also would like to disclose that he has consulted or advised for the IT & Media/Education committee of ASCO (the American Society of Clinical Oncology), for Doximity, and for HealthTap. Readers can communicate with Dr. Thompson via email (Michael.Thompson@phci.org), LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelthompsonmdphd), and Twitter (@mtmdphd).
The editors of ONCOLOGY thank Satish Misra, MD, a Senior Editor at iMedicalApps, for sharing his perspectives on use of the Android smartphone as a platform for mobile apps of interest to the hematologist/oncologist.
Dr. Misra has no relationships to disclose related to the products or services discussed in this article.