Product Review: MIMS app - SIGN Guidelines app

Product review of MIMS and SIGN apps.

MIMS; £5.99 SIGN; Free

Review by Jim Killgore, contributing editor

Many medical smartphone applications suffer from being either totally over the top and inappropriate for the format or less than useless. I mean do you really need an app to check a patient’s BMI? But there are some notable exceptions including two new apps that have been attracting attention.

For over 50 years MIMS (Monthly Index of Medical Specialties) has been providing healthcare professionals with information on medicines licensed in the UK, including drug dosages, warnings, contraindications and adverse events. The resource is updated in monthly editions and in recent years has been available online. It is said to be accessed over 450,000 times every month by UK general practitioners.

Doctors can now download a MIMS app from Android Market or iTunes, providing handy pocket-access to the resource with a predictive search to quickly find concise information on over 2,000 products. You can also search or browse by brand or generic name, or find products by manufacturer or therapeutic area. The one-off download also allows you to access free updates instantly.

Another useful app was launched in April of this year by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network or SIGN for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets. It features Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) on a selection of SIGN guidelines, including those for the management of atopic eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, venous thromboembolism, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adults, chronic venous leg ulcers, stroke, sore throat and indications for tonsillectomy, diabetes, obesity, depression, Parkinson’s disease and asthma. The QRG content is enhanced with material from the main guideline and online resources, linked to the SIGN website.

Each new SIGN QRG will be added as an update as it is published, building into a complete library. The app also features keyword search, bookmarking and in-app access to the SIGN website. Best of all, the app is free and has already proven surprisingly popular being downloaded over 8,000 times since being launched in April. The application has earned 24 four-star ratings on iTunes with the main suggestion among users being that it should be updated with the inclusion of all the guidelines available on the SIGN website.

So delete that disgusting iBoak app and download something useful for a change.