Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dr. A & iPhone: Episode deux

Welcome back to the adventures of Dr. A & iPhone. (Cue theme music) Let me get iPhone out of my trusty utility belt (Insert cool sound effect here). Here we go! (image credit)

Even though I'm still pretty much a novice at this, I've already received a couple of questions. The first is from Rahul.
Hi Doctor, I'm a medical student preparing to begin MSIII. Would you recommend usage of iphone as a PDA w/ medical software? Thanks -R
The second is from Mary Lu:
Yo Doc A! Welcome back from the boonie's of iPhone-land. You've been missed. The PharmD Husband is looking at one of those things to enhance his work as well.. (he's a hospital director of pharmacy,)

He asked me... to ask you... if you get any good ideas or finds on applications that can make his time/life more productive let us in on the info, please? Between us, I know he's looking for any excuse to get a new iPhone!
Let me tell you, I am very much flattered by these questions. In combing the medical blogosphere, I'm not really seeing much as far as resources for those of us with the iPhone. I have no idea how helpful this post will be, but I'm happy to share some thoughts.

First of all, Rahul, good luck as you begin your third year of medical school. I very much remember those days, and, to he honest, I'm glad that I'm done with them (hehe). At least for me, third year was tough. But, if I got through, I know that you can.

Getting back to your question (and this kind of relates to Mary Lu's questions as well), as far as I know, there is no medical software specifically written for use on the iPhone (yet). The stuff that I've seen out there makes use of the iPhone's wireless internet connection.

For example, I've read some things on medgadget that promote themselves as software for the iPhone. What I've seen them do is have the iPhone log into their medical website - and that's what they're calling medical uses of the iPhone. I don't really buy that.

I used to have a palm product as my PDA. At least for me, the most useful medical software I was using was epocrates. I was using this both in the office and in the hospital. ("Mandatory" conflict of interest statement: In no way am I compensated by the company mentioned above. I'm just a happy consumer of their product).

As of this point, there is no epocrates software specifically written for iPhone (yet). That being said, my hospital does have wireless internet, and what I do instead is that I log into the epocrates website via iPhone to find out the medication information that I need. This workaround is doing ok for now. But, if there are any epocrates employees out there - Please write software for iPhone - Pretty please.....

Mary Lu asked about "applications that can make life more productive." In reading the blogs, there's a bunch of stuff that people are writing, but it seems like all of them involve entering programming code into the iPhone - meaning there is not really an easy user interface (yet) to do these things.

I'm always weary of breaking into the software code of iPhone. I call myself tech "educated" but not necessairly tech "savvy." Call me chicken, but I'm afraid of crashing my iPhone and then missing an important call or text or whatever. So, I'm eagerly awaiting easier ways to get cool applications on my iPhone.

Thanks so much for your questions. I have no idea if this was helpful, or not. At least it was fun for me. Keep those questions coming and I'll do what I can to answer them. Well, that's it for now. (Cue theme music). Join us next time for the Adventures of Dr. A & iPhone.....


Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. A,

Glad to have you back in the blogosphere, hopefully you'll be checking out my new sites. Been workin real hard on them all summer!

thethinker said...

I'm extremely jealous. I want an iPhone.

Rach said...

Dr. A~ thanks for your comments over at my world of lunacy (i was looking for your email address, but my mac isn't configured for direct email to people...) !

Rach said...

ahhh... in regards to your q&a re: the mac and not being able to send email:

I have a blackberry on a work serve email system that isn't compatible with a mac... so i use a web-based system to email... haven't configured the email (and don't know how...) if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to do this, please let me know!

Epocrates said...

Epocrates extends a warm thank you to the medical community for helping drive Apple’s decision to support development of Epocrates products for the iPhone. Based on your high demand and Epocrates track record, it was announced today that Epocrates has been working with Apple to make its clinical content available on the iPhone operating system.

To learn more visit:

In the meantime, you can currently access Epocrates free online drug reference at with an Internet or WiFi connection.

**If you have already installed Apple’s iPhone or iTouch January update, you can now add an Epocrates Online shortcut to your home screen. To do this visit, click on the + sign at the bottom of the page. In the menu that appears, touch “Add to home screen”. Enter a name for the icon, then touch “Add” in the upper right corner.

Best wishes!

The Epocrates Team