Posted on September 12, 2017

Mobile phones are changing the world as surely as the airplane did, and the automobile before it. Apps like YouTube, Google Maps, and Facebook Messenger have made life more convenient for the populous at large. Meanwhile, change comes more slowly to smaller populations like healthcare world. That said, when the improvements do come, they’re no less earthshaking.

Dozens of doctor apps are popping up like daisies across the healthcare world, making almost every facet of the profession easier and more efficient. From medical calculator apps to diagnostic apps to general information and research, almost no doctor function has remained untouched by mobile invention.

Check out our list of 20 doctor apps for 2017 to find the best time savers and resource boosters in your world.

Where We Got Our Doctor Apps

Of course the first question when someone writes a post on the best doctor apps is, “Where did you get your information?”

So, here’s where our list of top apps for doctors came from:

  1. We asked doctors we know personally for the medical apps they like the best, and use regularly.
  2. We researched online, looking at the best doctor apps highlighted by medical reviewers and doctors alike.
  3. We built a list of 100+ doctor apps, then researched each one individually, looking at online reviews from doctors. We only included apps in our final list if they got the nod from the medical community.

We’re confident that the apps for doctors below are actually useful, providing efficiency and other key benefits.

Benefits of Doctor Apps

In the rush to turn everything into an app, there’s a clear danger of wasting time trying to force our phones to do things better handled in other ways.

When choosing a doctor app, make sure it does one of the following (the apps in this article do).

  • Improves communication. This could mean better interaction between a doctor and her patients. It might also mean better links between a doctor and a huge net of specialists able to help out.
  • Improves accuracy. Better record keeping, better calculating, more precise prescription and dosage information, and less errors in dozens of areas are all benefits of using the right doctor apps.
  • Facilitates better decision making. Many of the apps for doctors in this post can help you deliver better diagnoses and arrive at more refined clinical conclusions.
  • Boosts efficiency. The real goal is to free up a doctor’s time from non-doctor tasks. The less time that gets eaten up in non-medical drudgery, the more time a doctor can spend on being a doctor. The apps in this article deliver to that goal.

Types of Apps for Doctors

Screenshot of Epocrates, the top doctor app

The exciting thing about technology in 2017 is that if there’s a problem, dozens of developers are fighting for the chance to create the best app to solve it. That’s no different in the medical world, giving rise to several categories of doctor apps that do everything from translating medical questions into Mandarin to helping doctors diagnose their patients with more accuracy.

The apps for doctors in this article fall into seven categories:

  • General Medical Info Apps. These apps give info on conditions, diseases, drugs, interactions, and research. They provide images for easy comparison. Some even give access to vast networks of specialists who can chime in and help with tricky problems.
  • Research Apps for Doctors. NEJM and PubMed are both accessible by app these days.
  • Diagnostic Apps. Need to get to the bottom of a list of symptoms quickly? Need images and patient differentials at your fingertips? Several diagnostic apps make the job fast and easy.
  • Medical Calculator Apps for Doctors. There’s no reason doctors should waste time looking up formulae or trying to figure dosages from patient weight. Not when those functions can easily be handled by an app. We’ve got several good ones further down.
  • Continuing Medical Education Apps. Need to keep your skills sharp? See the CME doctor apps below.
  • Translation. There’s only one app in this category, but the concept is very cool. This app translates common medical questions and statements, so you can communicate easier with patients who don’t speak your language.
  • Patient Assistance. Want to help patients get the best price for your prescriptions? There’s a doctor app for that.

20 Doctor Apps

Without further fanfare, here are 20 doctor apps that can save you time, make you more accurate, and deliver better care to your patients. They’re served up here by category, based on the types of apps shown above.

General Info Doctor Apps

Looking for an all-inclusive doctor app that gives you the best info, images, and resources, all in one place? Check out Epocrates (a crowd favorite), Up To Date, Doximity, and Medscape.

Epocrates

Epocrates is probably the #1 doctor app we researched. It’s recommended by several personal doctor friends, plus online reviewers and doctor reviewers alike.

It’s popular because it lets doctors see tons of medical info at a glance. The info covers drugs and drug interactions, ICD-10 codes, diseases, and lots more. It’s up-to-date, with a 4.5 star rating in the App Store from over 47,000 reviewers.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases of $160-$175 (iPhone/Android)

UpToDate

The UpToDate doctor app grants access to a vast bank of information on drugs, diseases, and procedures. The info is authored by 5,000+ practicing physicians and specialists. It’s fully searchable and very handy.

According to the app’s creators, 30 research studies prove that widespread use of the app is linked to improved patient care. It gets 3.5 stars from 400+ reviewers.

Price: About $500/year. (iPhone/Android)

Doximity

Created by the Doximity medical professional network, the HIPAA secure Doximity doctor app is a big hit with medical pros. It lets healthcare pros network, read medical news, and collaborate with peers on patient cases in a HIPAA-approved way.

This app for doctors gets 4.5 stars from 700+ reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Medscape

The Medscape app for doctors gives fast, accurate answers to clinical questions at the point of care. It gives users access to a community of 250,000+ physicians around the world, to ask questions, share cases, and benefit from their vast pool of knowledge.

This very popular doctor app lets users look up medications. It comes with an interaction checker, plus info on conditions and medical news. It gets 3 stars from 20,000+ reviewers

Price: Free

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Research Doctor Apps

Want to access NEJM, consolidate and order your medical reading, or access PubMed? The two apps for doctors in this section have got you covered.

Read by QxMD

The Read app for doctors lets health care pros keep up with medical research, search PubMed, and read topic reviews. One user calls it the future of medical lit review.

This doctor app gives highly relevant search results, sharable with colleagues. It also offers excellent topic reviews. It gets 5 stars from 1500+ reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

NEJM This Week

From the NEJM itself, the NEJM doctor app brings all the power and insight of the Journal to your mobile phone or tablet. It gives instant access to recent articles, research, images of conditions, audio summaries of articles, and procedure videos.

The app is kind of like what the internet should be, if all the refuse were automatically discarded from every medical search. It gets 3.5 stars from 350+ reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Patient Interaction Doctor App

Doctors who are tired of the standard waiting-room-and-lobby model can save time with the Virtual Practice app in this section. The app takes a revolutionary approach to treating patients.

Virtual Practice for Doctors

Screenshot of the Virtual Practice doctor app.
Here’s a doctor app that makes it easier for doctors and patients to interact directly. The Virtual Practice app opens up access to patient health data, enables video consultations, appointment management, patient text questions, and all sorts of other functionality.

This is an app for doctors who want to take their practice into the mobile age in a big way. It gets 4 stars from 74 reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Doctor Apps

Need to keep your skills sharp and your brain in the learning game? Check out the two CME doctor apps shown here.

RealCME

Real CME is a continuing medical education app for doctors who need to fill CME requirements but want to stay mobile. It offers a wide variety of education activities, all accredited by AAFP, AMA, AAPA, AANP, and other respected agencies.

This doctor app lets users search for topics, learn, and even gives a pre-test assessment to zero in on the right level of instruction. It gets 4.5 stars from 1300+ reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

myCME

Another continuing medical education doctor app like RealCME, the myCME app helps users receive clinically relevant education. Doctors can choose from activities custom-fitted to their specialties, and even pick up learning where they left off.

Users get credit straight from the app, set personalized goals, and track progress. The app gets 4.5 stars from 160+ users.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Diagnostic Support Doctor Apps

It’s been said that the last person who knew everything there was to know was Francis Bacon, who died in 1626. In truth, that honor has been awarded to dozens of people, but none of them were doctors working in 2017. Why not enlist the aid of diagnostic tools that take in lists of symptoms and patient facts, then deliver different possible diagnoses? That’s what the doctor apps in this section do.

Figure 1

The Figure 1 doctor app is used by over a million healthcare pros to recognize rare conditions and sharpen medical knowledge. Users can share de-identified learning cases, send HIPAA compliant messages to colleagues, and communicate with each other from remote locations.

This is an app for doctors who want to use the combined medical knowledge of the wider world. It can provide instant peer feedback from doctors in diverse specialties and from all walks of life. The app gets 4.5 stars from 1200+ reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Visual DX

Screen grab of the visual dx doctor app.
The Visual DX doctor app gives diagnostic help and more. It lets doctors access diagnostic support searchable by signs, symptoms, and patient factors. It’s also got tens of thousands of images for comparison, along with information on drug-induced side effects.

This app is for doctors who want an information base to help them diagnose patients at the point of care. It gets 3 stars from 400 reviewers.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases (iPhone/Android)

NurseTabs

The NurseTabs app lets nurses and doctors search 340+ common diseases, grouped by body system. It gives detailed info on each condition, also suggesting the recommended nursing care approach.

This is more of a nurse app than a doctor app, listing recommended nursing interventions. We include it here for doctors with nurses in their charge. The app gets 4 stars from 115 reviewers.

Price: $9.99 (iPhone/Android)

AHRQ ePSS

The AHRQ ePSS (Electronic Preventive Services Selector) doctor app was developed and designed by the US Dept of Health and Human Services (HSS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It helps primary care physicians zero in on the right path of treatment.

This is an app for doctors who want to input patient details, then get guidance on the counseling, screening, and preventive medication that best fits the situation. It gets 3 stars from 580 reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Medical Calculator Doctor Apps

Need to compute baby due dates, patient dosage information, or figure dozens of other medical formulae? Browse the calculator apps for doctors in this section.

MDCalc

Boasting over a million users, MDCalc is a mobile resource that bundles over 270 clinical decision-making tools. These include dosing calculators, algorithms, classifications, risk scores, and more.

This doctor app works offline as well and makes it easy to find and use new calculators in 35+ specialties. It gets 5 stars from 63 reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Pedi QuickCalc

The Pedi QuickCalc app for doctors is a fast, up-to-date pediatric medical calculator. It’s the #1 app for pediatrics in 2017, according to Contemporary Pediatrics. It’s got a weight-based medical and dosing calculator for pediatric cases, plus estimators for weight, length, age, and lots of other uses.

This is a time-saving app for doctors that puts several often-used calculations right at your fingertips. It gets 4 stars from 50 reviewers.

Price: $1.99 (iPhone/Android)

BiliCalc

The BiliCalc doctor app is a well-designed tool for managing Hyperbilirubinemia in infants over 35 weeks. It calculates the threshold to start phototherapy based on several patient-specific factors.

This useful app displays values on phototherapy nomogram, suggests time frames, and comes with several useful displays.It gets 4.5 stars from 47 reviewers.

Price: $1.99 (iPhone/Android)

OB Wheel

Screenshot of OB Wheel doctor app.
The OB Wheel doctor app is a great pregnancy tool meant to replace the handy paper wheel. It’s a gestational calculator that lets users input last menstrual period, conception date, or other starting points.

From there, the app lets doctors retrieve an estimated due date, expected fetal length, and a host of other outputs. It gets 4 stars from 570+ reviewers.

Price: $1.99 (iPhone/Android)

Mediquations

The Mediquations doctor app is a medical calculator that gives users fast answers with over 230 formulae and scoring tools. The interface is intuitive to boot. It supports both US and SI units, and lets you switch between units freely.

This is an app for doctors who want to save time and serve the patient fast, with minimal wasted time searching for details. It gets 4 stars from 400+ reviewers.

Price: $4.99 (iPhone/Android)

Translator Doctor App

There’s only one translator app for doctors in this section. With it, doctors can interact more freely with ESL patients.

Medibabble

The Medibabble doctor app helps medical pros take patient history and improve the efficiency and safety of quality of care for those who don’t speak English. It comes pre-loaded with translated questions that doctors can play as high-end audio recordings.

This app is of particular use for doctors working in other countries or in populations that speak a language other than their own. It gets 3.5 stars from 94 reviewers.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

A Doctor App to Find Cheap Prescription Prices

Our final doctor app category contains a single app for helping patients find the best deals on medications.

Good Rx

The Good Rx doctor app works based on this question: what doctor doesn’t want to save his or her patients money on prescriptions? Users just plug in a prescription, then see the lowest local price.

Pharmacist coupons let doctors and patients save up to 80%. The app comes with custom reminders when it’s time to refill. It gets 5 stars from 7300+ reviewers. Even so, it’s more of an app for doctors to recommend to patients, rather than one to use themselves.

Price: Free (iPhone/Android)

Conclusion

The real goal with apps for doctors? Making better doctors and providing better care. Calculators for example can speed up a necessary but often quite time-consuming medical task, letting doctors spend more time doing what they’re best at. Other apps put more resources in a healthcare pros hands. That ultimately means a more effective level of patient care.

Got a favorite doctor app we didn’t include in this article? Want to call us out on an app we did include but that you didn’t think deserves the cred? Give us a shout in the comments! We always love to hear from users and your input is greatly valued.

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