iPhone Medical Software Round-Up

So I’ve decided to be productive on the plane trip home and write a review on some of the medical applications for the iPhone (which, by the way, is by far the best mobile platform on the market – in fact, about 90% of this review was written on an iPhone).

I’ll be reviewing five of the more useful applications this go around: Eponyms, DxSaurus, Lab Values, ECG Guide and iMurmur.

Eponyms (http://code.google.com/p/eponyms-touch/) – Medicine loves eponyms. Sure, we could call it reactive arthritis but we’d rather say Reiter’s Syndrome. Maybe it’s an ego thing with doctors, maybe not but that’s the system we have. Eponyms provides an easy-to-use, searchable index of medical eponyms with a description of each. Nothing more, nothing less. Example listing: Ball’s disease – Intracerebral leukocytosis, a potentially fatal complication of acute leukemia (especially AML) when peripheral blast cell count >100,000/uL; leukemic cells capable of invading through endothelium and causing hemorrhage into brain. Condition not generally seen with CLL or CML.

  • Pro: Very complete listing of 1,700+ medical eponyms, each of which includes a description that provides clinically-relevant information
  • Con: Information is incomplete in terms of pathogenesis / pathophysiology (though these may/ may not be clinically relevant)
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Price: Free for students, $1.99 for all others

Diagnosaurus DDx (http://www.unboundmedicine.com/store/iphone) – This is a differential diagnosis software package. The user can choose by disease, organ system or symptom and a list of differential diagnoses and etiologies are provided.

  • Pro: Provides a good list of differential diagnoses for the entered item, fairly comprehensive disease list.
  • Con: No hotlinking between diseases, no explanations provided on the etiology. The differential diagnosis lists are often incomplete and do not provide for the entry of multiple symptoms or organ systems. Thus, the differential diagnosis provided is a “shotgun” approach and needs filtering by an experienced clinician. These oversights must be corrected for this to be a complete software package for its intended purpose.
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Price: $0.99

Pocket Lab Values – Quick reference for medical lab values broken up into categories such as cardiology, CSF, drug monitoring, endocrinology, hematology, etc. The program allows for seaches, marking of favorites and a catalog of recent lab views.

  • Pro: Saves recent history of labs viewed. Provides explanations for each of the labs and quick links to Wikipedia, Medline Plus and Google for additional information as well as reference values in US and SI units.
  • Con: Information not as complete as that provided by other sources such as Bakerman’s ABC’s of Interpretive Laboratory Data, only 227 labs listed so not a complete reference.
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: $2.99

ECG Guide (http://www.QxMD.com) – This is a comprehensive ECG package providing everything from tutorials on ECG Basics to ECG Interpretation with segments, chamber enlargements, conduction and bundle branch blocks, arrhythmias and special pediatric cases.

  • Pro: Excellent explanations with sample ECGs provided for each. The criteria for the diagnosis is clearly spelled out and each ECG abnormality is fully explained in terms of appearance and mV/mm discrepancy. Many conditions are covered such as subtypes of Narrow Complex (Supraventricular) tachyarrhythmias, left/right bundle branch blocks, fascicular blocks, QRS axis assessment, Rotation assessment, Myopericarditis, Brugada Syndrome and many, many more.
  • Con: No quiz function for testing one’s understanding of the material.
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Price: $2.99

iMurmur (http://phalanxdev.com) – This is a great program for learning how to detect and correctly diagnose murmurs. The reference murmur list is long and includes such murmurs as aortic regurgitation, aortic stenosis, atrial septal defect, Austin-Flint murmur, Mitral regurgitation, Paradoxical S2 split and many others. The program includes reference recordings that can be listened to to teach you what the various murmurs sounds like as well as a quiz where a murmur is played and you are asked to make a diagnosis. It’s a great, easy and accurate way to learn your way around heart murmurs with the learning being reinforced with the quiz function. Highly recommended for anyone that needs to learn proper auscultation or for those needing to brush up on their knowledge.

  • Pro: Lots of reference murmurs, quiz function, stable application
  • Con: Requires headphones to listen
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: $2.99

See Part 2 of this review

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Ode to Memories

“Ode to Memories”

By: Brian Wells

I dreamed upon the mountains,
and laid in the forests to count the stars.
I sat by the campfire, watching, waiting,
and yet never found that which I sought.

I stood on the beach,
and let the waves roll in over my feet.
I saw the sand in its infinite granules,
and marveled at the rocks and shells
brought forth from the ocean.
Yet their marvel fell short.

I stared at the clouds
in their silken white forms,
and imagined seeing all of Earth’s creatures.
I saw shapes and lines,
and heroes of the past as my mind wandered
racing cloud to cloud.
But I still did not see that which mattered most.

I looked into my heart
and found the joy that so eluded me.
The memories and connections I hold dear.
The laughs and fun I treasure.
The wonder of possibility.

I looked into my heart
and I found

you.

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Atheist defined

This was taken from a friend’s page but I liked it enough that I think it deserves an entry. A lot of what they have to say goes along with how I feel (Someone to watch over us)

“Your petitioners are Atheists and they define their beliefs as follows:

An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An Atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and enjoy it.

An Atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

He wants an ethical way of life. He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes that we are our brother’s keepers; and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.”

— Definition of Atheism was given to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d (MD, 1963), to remove reverential Bible reading and oral unison recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the public schools.

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Data Modeling: Automated statistical analysis

Nothing fancy here, just some code I worked up for doing statistical analysis for a project I’m working on. This code could be integrated into an algorithm or loop and then used to calculate values on multiple datasets automatically. If you’re a researcher or statistician, it’s not hard to see how something like this would be very useful.

This is v1.0 of the code. For v2.0 (or more likely v3.0), I’m planning to add in data transforms (natural log and square root), normality testing (Anderson-Darling and Kolmogorov-Smirnov), Durbin-Watson, Chi Square, Mann-Whitney U, GEEs, Student t, ANOVA, Box-Cox and a few other analytic tricks such as an algorithm that can decide which test would be most appropriate based on the data and and algorithm that can detect when a data transform is required and then select the proper transform.

The attached file contains two functions for doing automated statistical analysis in MS Access. The code is in VBA but could easily be adapted to another language since most of it is just SQL.

The included functions are as follows. Notice that they return an array variable with multiple data items and you then reference a position in the array for the resultant computation.

Public Function GetStatistics(SelectSQL As String, StDevField As String, Optional StoredQuery As Boolean, Optional SingleValue As Variant) As Variant
‘The function returns: 0 = Sum, 1 = Mean, 2 = Variance, 3 = Standard Deviation, 4 = N, 5 = Skewness, 6 = Kurtosis, 7 = Median

Public Function OLS(SelectSQL As String, XValue As String, YValue As String, Optional StoredQuery As Boolean, Optional SingleValue As Variant) As Variant
‘The function returns: 0 = Slope, 1 = Intercept, 2 = r, 3 = R-Squared

Download Statistics v1.0

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