Medical iPhone: Spanish and Differential Diagnosis

A couple gems I recently discovered:

1. Pocket Medical Spanish (by Modality Inc.)

Having used another one of the Modality products previously, I was excited to try out Pocket Medical Spanish (I was invited to try it out by the company for free). I am very impressed by its organization, ease-of-use, and high production quality.

As with other resources, the app is sorted into a few general sections (Introduction, General Questions, etc.) and problem-specific sections (Pain, Chest Problems, Abdominal Problems, Nervous System Disorders, Ob/Gyn, etc.). Navigating through the app is easy and quick: the transition time is very short, and each sub-section has a concise title (in the Chest section, you find “1: Chest Pain. Vomiting. Nausea…, 2: Previous heart trouble. Palpitations…, 3. Recent cold…”). Some of the sections are also cross-referenced, so you can sometimes navigate between sections by clicking on links below each phrase (although I would like to see many more of these links in future versions).

One of the unique aspects of this app is that it facilitates patient-doctor dialogue in an additional manner: the app is designed such that the doctor can stand alongside the patient and ask questions with a visual prompt. Each Spanish phrase can be expanded to fit the screen so it is easy to read. Additionally, the program has a “tools” section with Spanish versions of a clock, pain scale, calendar, and more with items that can be selected by patients tapping the screen and easily translated for the doctor. For someone like me who has just begun learning Spanish (and will need to practice on my own time with respect to pronunciation), this is a very useful assisting device during an initial evaluation before a translator can be consulted.

Lastly, the audio quality of the spoken phrases is excellent; I hope to someday pronounce my Spanish phrases as well as the recordings! I sent the developers some suggestions for new content and some minor refinements, and I look forward to seeing updates to the app. Although this app is the most expensive of the medical spanish programs so far ($20), I think the quality and the reliability of updates from the developer makes it a worthwhile, lasting purchase.

2. Diagnosaurus DDx (by Unbound Medicine)

Having used Diagnosaurus DDX occasionally on AccessMedicine previously, I was excited to see this inexpensive app arrive on the scene. Notably, the DDx database is offline, so it is useful for someone like me with an iPod Touch practicing in clinics and hospitals without free wireless access. This app is a quick draw, useful adjunct to more detailed resources (on paper or on the iPhone): it helps to have resources that are concise and quick to access and other resources that have more detail when needed.

1 comment
  1. Alex Allain said:

    Pocket Medical Spanish sounds like an awesome idea. I have a friend whose wife does medical translation, and it sounds pretty arduous–having to get up late at night and go over to the hospital–and time-consuming for the patient (having to wait for a translator).

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