Cancer is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of most of us. There is no way to know what it’s like unless you or a loved one has experienced it. For many people, struggling to survive cancer is the toughest battle they will ever have to fight.
A recent research study examined the use of ‘war’ related metaphors like ‘fight’, ‘survivors’, ‘battle’, etc., to refer to cancer, and concluded that patients are more likely to show less self-restraint and have less limitations if they feel they are about to enter a battlefield. And often, they will choose more aggressive treatment procedures to tackle their ailment head on.
What does this have to do with apps for oncologists? We believe this study shows doctors that patients need to be prepared for a fight. It shows that the most up-to-date and aggressive treatment is often the difference between life or death, and that, if sent into battle armed also with doctors who have the best information available to them, cancer patients will maintain a positive, hopeful attitude.
Why do Oncologists need apps?
Apps aren’t just for gamers and hipsters. The technology field has also been busy doing its part to make diagnosing and treating cancer easier for oncologists, patients and researchers. These latest applications can keep tech savvy doctors on top of the latest symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment procedures, and bring peace of mind to patients.
Top 10 apps for Oncologists
MedPage Today and CollabRx have developed Cancer Rx, “…the first mobile app to aggregate and contextualize the world’s knowledge of genomics-based medicine in oncology.” It is a warehouse of updated information which offers guidance for treatment based on its database of tests and results.
Along similar lines, but not quite as comprehensive, is PubMed on Tap which offers medical resources by accessing the PubMed Central database.
inPractice mobile app lets oncologists access PubMed resources. Clinical trial registry and guidelines to treatment procedures can also be accessed with this app.
Treatment guidelines can be referred to in detail with the help of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network app, available on smartphones and tablets including iPhone and Android. This mobile app ensures effective treatment by helping physicians implement guidelines smoothly.
Information related to medical news, as well as guidelines to be followed during treatment of cancer can also be found on the Medscape app. It has an estimated user base of more than four million in the United States alone.
BrownZine offers a collection of e-journals with articles and references. These can also be downloaded as PDFs. With the help of this app doctors can scan through numerous scholarly papers from a particular educational institution or any other source.
For information on medications, Micromedex Free Drug Reference app is one of the trusted resources for prescription drug reference. Details on medicines such as name, class, side effects, etc., can be found here.
QxMD’s Calculate, where healthcare providers and researchers can search for and find calculations and formulas, is supported on iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.
To help doctors find out more about secondary ailments cancer patients may be affected with, along with support on how they should be managed, diagnosed, and treated, there are the Johns Hopkins Guides.
Keeping patients up to date in their treatment and surgical procedures is the main objective of the Draw MD app. It allows doctors to visually communicate anatomy, conditions, procedures and concepts with patients to improve understanding, retention and quality of care.
And Last But Not Least…
The app CancerNetwork.com chose as one to watch is OhMD. It provides a platform for oncologists and their patients to communicate through simple and secure texts. It meets the stage 2 messaging criteria and will work on the patient portal in use.
Apps are being developed regularly, many with specialized focus areas to assist physicians in adopting the best treatment procedure for their patients. We are certain that they will continue to be improved upon and we will see new apps being developed as doctors continue to help their patients with their battle against cancer.
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