Our 2017 round-up of top apps for radiology.
Physicians continue to use their smart phones and tablets for work at high rates. According to a Wolters Kluwer Health survey, 42%-44% of physicians use smart phones to access medical research, communicate with staff, and access clinical reference tools when with patients. Tablet usage was higher for accessing medical research (63%) and using clinical reference tools (50%).While the internet is useful for looking up web-based information, mobile apps sometimes make it quicker to access the information from a specific site. And some information and functionality can only be found on a mobile application.For this year’s list, we combed through best-of lists and scoured the internet for apps that radiologists need. Here are nine of the best. (If you haven’t seen our past selections, check out our 2016 list, our 2014 list and our 2013 list, which contain apps still highly recommended for radiologists).Did we miss any? Tell us your favorites in the comments.
CMR Pocket Guide. Radiologists can now access the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging’s pocket guide to cardiac MRI on a mobile app. The guide, previously available only as a PDF, shows the heart’s detailed structural and functional information, most helpful to those newer to the field or who just need a reference check. It’s intended for clinicians who perform this type of imaging. You’ll find five calculators by swiping left or right, and safety and planning sections as well. It’s free, and available on iTunes. CMR Guide
CTisus Critical Diagnostic Measurements in CT. Created by Dr. Elliot Fishman and colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Critical Diagnostic Measurements in CT is helpful to those who want to explore both normal anatomy and anatomy that’s different in size and attenuation, possibly indicating pathology. The app provides those interpreting CTs with normal measurements for a number of anatomic structures. It also provides Hounsfield unit thresholds, along with publication back-up links. You’ll find search tools and graphics to aid in your app use. It’s available for free on iTunes. CTisus Critical Diagnostic Measurements in CT
RADiDOC. Tracking radiation for individual imaging sessions as well as cumulative patient dosing has been gaining steam, in this era of patient-centered care. Radiologists may want to encourage their patients to download RADiDOC. It was developed at UCLA for patients to learn more about radiation exposure in general, and as a way to log radiation received for imaging studies going forward. The app is free and available on iTunes. RADiDOC
RadsBest: Fast Decision Support for Radiologists. RadsBest, or Radiologist’s Best Friend was developed by radiologist Roy Kwak to help you with accurate, evidence-based report creation. Using built-in logic, it can shave time off the report writing process by eliminating steps that don’t affect the outcome. Plus, “it has most of the ACR supported guidelines, including Fleischner Society and Lung-RADS, as well as staging for many cancers,” said Kwak, which potentially increases the quality of reports. The app has three main sections including decision support management, staging and calculations. RadsBest is available for iPhone and is free, but there are in-app purchases for some tools. The app is free and available on iTunes. RadsBest decision support
Kanal’s MR Safety Implant Risk Assessment. This app is meant for use by those who attended the app developer’s MRMD/MRSO MR safety training course, but can be used by anyone willing to pay the $99.99 price. The app helps radiologists who are scanning patients with implanted devices or foreign bodies. “This app works like a pilot's checklist to walk you through the risksâ¦based on its identification, location, the sequence and scanner, and studies to be performed, and provides an assessment as to the magnitude of the risk for proceeding with the requested MR imaging examination,” said app developer Dr. Emanuel Kanal. “[It’s] ideal for any/all sites who ever face the question, 'Can I scan a patient with that device/object/foreign body in/on them?'” This app is available on iTunes. Kanal’s MR Safety Implant Risk Assessment
Radiology Assistant. Finally, an app for Android devices! Radiology Assistant is an imaging reference app with 90 articles and text search functionality. Images can be viewed closer up by zooming in with your fingers. One reviewer said it’s one of the best Android radiology apps available. Radiology Assistant is available for both Android and Apple devices, for about $6-7.
MRI Made Easy. MRI Made Easy is one of the latest apps in the doRadiology product suite. German professor Hans H. Schild gives an introduction to MR physics principles, using text, graphs, images, and cartoons. The text is searchable, and you can use the cases as a quiz. The app is free, and available on iTunes. MRI Made Easy
Contrast Media: NSF vs. CIN. If you’re imaging patients with renal impairment, this app will help you choose the safest contrast agents. It uses three eGFR calculators to help minimize the risks of a renal patient developing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis or Contrast-Induced Neuropathy. The app was developed by academic radiologists in Brazil and the U.S., and requires no log-in or subscription. It’s helpful to radiologists as well as radiologic technologists, medical students, nephrologists, and others. You’ll find it on both Android and Apple devices for 99 cents.
Read by QxMD. For all physicians, not just radiologists, this app lets you read all your medical journals on one app. You can access PubMed, as well as paid journals, open access journals, and other literature. You can browse topics, save, and share articles with your colleagues through social media sites or e-mail. The app is free on both Android and Apple, but you still may need subscriptions to some journals to get access. If you’re affiliated with a university, it’s easy to connect through them.