Airmedevac

Dr Bruce Elliott

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Top Ten iPad Apps for Flying Doctors

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I love my iPad.  I bought it last August in California to see what all the fuss was about.  At the time I couldn’t understand what everyone was banging on about.  “It’s like an iPhone but you can’t phone anyone.”  Why would you want a phone which wasn’t a phone?

But no one told me you could switch it on and off as fast as a calculator.  Or that the battery lasted more than ten hours.  Or that it was as portable as a book.  And I’d never had a 3G connected laptop before because dongles were expensive.  Plus Apple’s obsession with usability made the thing such a joy to use I started to use it for new things I never used to use a computer for, like playing chess and reading books.

Anyway, back to the point.  All of the things about the iPad I love also make it an excellent piece of kit for working as a flying doctor.  So here are my favourite apps in reverse order:

#10 Weather HD – What Shall I Pack? (£0.59)

We get sent almost anywhere at very short notice, sometimes just a few hours, so its helpful to have the weather handy while you’re packing.  No point in taking jeans if it’s going to be 34 degrees in the shade. Weather HD is a gorgeous app which makes full use of the iPad’s screen res with weather appropriate video and detailed information out to five days.

#9 British Airways – Tier Point Pornography (free)British Airways app

Flying Doctors have airmiles coming out their ears.  Some of them are with airlines you’d never use admittedly, but BA has the biggest range of flights out the UK so it’s nice to keep up with itineraries and tallies for planning the next holiday.

#8 OOxford Handbook of Key Clinical Evidence appxford Handbook of Key Clinical Evidence – To be sure, to be sure (£34.99)

Further back in the list as it’s not so much essential as good for you.  Many doctors learn medicine without understanding much of the evidence base for it.  And much of the medicine being used today is based on hearsay.  Well worth digging around to find out what’s really going on, and OHKCE makes that easy.

#7 MedCalc Pro – Every Medical Formula and a Few More (£2.99)Med Calc Pro app

Literally hundreds of them.  Particularly handy for converting foreign blood results, which often catch you out in far-flung exotic hospitals.  You can also keep a record of results against time for different patients. Nice.

#6 Maps appMaps – Never Get Lost Again (free)

I was always getting lost in strange places until I got my iPad. This app is idiot-proof, showing you exactly where you are thanks to instant geo-locationing from the GPS chip/ wireless mast positioning thingmy.  Comes free with the iPad so you don’t even have to download it.  Love it.

#5 The Economist – Be an Ambassador for your Own Country (free with subscription)Economist app

Situational awareness, understanding the big picture, call it what you will.  Every country and region comes with its own set of cultures, politics and people.  To function properly abroad, you need to understand something about how other countries work.  It’s not on the syllabus at medical school and there’s plenty of time to read on the job.

#4 Oxford Handbook of Emergency Medicine – When It All Goes Wrong (£34.99)Oxford Handbook of Emergency Medicine app

Emergency Medicine is a core skill for flying doctors.  Patients are always stabilised as much as possible before flight, but sometimes they’re sick or things just go wrong. This app takes you through just about every medical emergency you can think of.  A must have resource.

#3 BNF – An Indispensable Guide to the Dispensary (£26.49)BNF app

Somehow manages to give encyclopaedic yet concise advice on what drug to give when and how. The world’s finest drugs formulary, in my opinion.  Tradenames are specific to the UK but then you be using the generic names anyway – right?

Foreflight Mobile HD#2 Foreflight – The Ultimate Pilot Resource (£14.99 for 3/12)

If you’re a pilot, you’ll love Foreflight.  Downloads seriously detailed weather for most regions and airports worldwide for flight planning purposes then works as moving map GPS once you’re underway.  If you’re lucky enough to be use it in the US, you’ll have full VFR/ airway/ instrument plate support. Gorgeous layout, I just love this.

#1 MedScape – More Medical Information than you can Shake a Stick at (free!)Medscape app

An amazing resource which I cannot believe is free.  Covers thousands of conditions, drugs and procedures.  Perfect for flight medicine which has to cater for almost any condition on board an aircraft.  Like all the best apps in this list it works offline and only needs a net connection to update itself now and again.

What are your favourite apps?  Look forward to hearing from you!

Dr Bruce Elliott

Written by airmedevac

April 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

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