5 top apps for GPs
Copying out and organising notes can be a laborious procedure, so typing them directly onto a smartphone or tablet can be a great way to take the pain out of the process. Here are some apps that make this simpler.
There are a plethora of notetaking apps for smartphones of all kind, but some like evernote have stood the test of time to become market leaders. Evernote allows you to store text, images and audio which you can then tag and search. It also has optical character recognition, meaning that it can read handwritten and scanned notes making it searchable. While the apps for iPhone and android are good, evernote's website is still a bit clunky.
For a stripped down version, you can't beat simplenote (iPhone and online). While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, its much faster. It works best paired with a mac app called notational velocity which is lightning fast and comes with a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that make editing a breeze once you get used to it. All of these services are free, and simplenote and evernote have premium services that come with extra features.
Special guest: dictation software
Dictation software used to be a bad joke that recorded what you were trying to say in a strange alien language. But times change and some packages are now worth a look, the main one being Dragon Naturally Speaking, prices range from £16.99 for the basic note taking version available on smartphones and tablets up to £160 for the full featured computer control version. You can test out a free version on your phone before you commit.
Turboscan (iPhone only - free) is another free app that can help you process handwritten notes or printed documents easily. We reccomend turboscan for uploading your documents to Network Locum (now Lantum) when you're verifying your profile. It makes it super easy to get your documents online or in cloud services such as Dropbox.
Medscape (iPhone - free) is an app for drug references that can give you information on drug dosing information, drug interactions, medical calculators, and formulary information to support you with patient care. It's available for free on iPhone.
BNF (iPhone/android - both free) is the new official app from NICE that gives you prescribing information. Once you've downloaded it will work offline. Users will need to enter their NHS Athens user name and password to activate the app and download the content.
Medcalc (iPhone - £1.50) and Medcalc 3000 (android - £6.99) gives you easy access to a bunch of medical formulas. It's much more basic than medscape's app, but does what it does very well. As with any generically named app it's easy to get mixed up, so make sure you read some reviews before you make your choice.