I discovered Informed Pocket Guides almost two years ago and have been a huge fan ever since. The first product I got was the Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide. I believe the fact that I take extra care this little/big guide is always in my bag when I go to work, says it all. It is small, light and compact, yet it has all the necessary reference information you might need in medical emergencies. It is especially useful if you work in the field.
Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide has almost 200 pages and covers the following topics:
- Current ACLS Algorithms, Lab Values, Metrics, Notes
- Emergency, ACLS Drugs & Top Prescription Drugs
- IV Drips, Drug Infusions, Dosages
- Poisons & Overdose / ‘Rave’ Drug
- 12-Lead ECG Section & Acute MI
- Medical Emergencies Section
- Quick EMS Spanish Translations
- Fibrinolytics for AMI & Stroke / CVA
- Childbirth, Diabetic, Respiratory Distress
- Pediatric Resuscitation, Drug Doses, Vitals
- Trauma, Triage, MCI, Glasgow Coma Scales
- Airway Management /RSI
- Burn Charts, the ‘Rule of 9s’
- Pulse Oximetry
- Infectious Diseases
Well, ever since the first iPhone medical apps started appearing, I thought to myself… hmmm I would love to have my medical pocket guides on this great device. Obviously, it was just a matter of time when Informed would port them to this mobile platform, and yes they are here! The complete series of Informed Medical Pocket Guides are now available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Titles like the RN Pocket Guide™, EMS Field Guide® BLS & ALS edition, NIMS: Incident Command System Field Guide™, and of course the Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide™ are available for $9,99 USD via the iTunes store. In fact the Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide app has just recently been updated with many improvements, so now is the best time to present it to you.
If we take a look at the content, the app is the same as the pocket guide. The basic difference is that on one side you have a physical pocket guide, and on the other an application for your iPhone. Now, bringing the guide to the iPhone has some advantages and some disadvantages. First of all, you no longer have to worry about forgetting the pocket guide. You have all the same information available on your mobile phone, which you carry everyday and everywhere you go. This all makes perfect sense, since the iPhone is by itself a great mobile phone for doctors and other medical workers. So having another great medical app running on it just makes it even more powerful. Furthermore, you can do things with the app which are impossible or difficult to do with the pocket guide. One such thing, and maybe the most important one, is finding information quickly. The pocket guide is not an encyclopedia, but still it has a lot of dense information on small pages, so finding exactly what you need can prove to be difficult. Sometimes I just know that I have seen a piece of information or a chart in the guide, but cannot find it unless I flip thru numerous pages. The app is the champion in this area. It is very easy to find information you need thanks to the great built in search function, but also other navigation features like the possibility to flick thru pages, go to a specific page, browse the table of contents and see thumbnails of pages. Other interesting features include bookmarks and notes which again are there to make the data you need and often use more accessible. On the down side, the iPhone screen is a little bit smaller that the pages of the pocket guide. Maybe this could be a problem for some, even though the resolution is high so you can simply zoom in and see all the details. Also, you might not like the idea of bringing your iPhone with you in the field out of the fear it might get damaged or other reasons. I also found that sometimes its touch screen does not work flawlessly if I wear protective gloves.
Here are some of the photos of the Emergency & Critical Care app and the pocket guide:
Both the pocket guide and the app have things going for them, so you will have to choose which one better suites your work flow and style. I like them both so much and cannot decide. It seams that the pocket guide will remain in my bag and the app on my iPhone. I am really looking forward to new updates of the app, and hope that in the future it will incorporate more interactive content, so it could maybe replace some of the other apps I have installed on my iPhone, like various medical calculators.