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Wolters Kluwer Health. 333 Seventh Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 212.563.3006; ContactUs@moc.wwl@ecivresremotsuc. Product is included with Clin-eguide subscription, no separate pricing
Column editor's note: In this issue, Clin-eguide and Dynamed, two mobile components of online clinical support tools, are reviewed. Mobile devices are becoming commonplace in the clinical setting, and these mobile products are available to users with subscription access to the “full” versions.
Clin-eguide Mobile is a supplemental component to the Clin-eguide database. Designed for clinicians with a point-of-care need, Clin-eguide Mobile can be accessed either directly through the web or downloaded onto a mobile device. Accessibility depends on which platforms users have. Currently, Clin-eguide Mobile is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, and Pocket PC. All subscribers will need to set up an account through Clin-eguide before accessing the mobile website or syncing the downloaded component. It is highly recommended that the initial set up of accounts take place on campus to avoid any authentication issues.
The content is pretty impressive for a mobile application. Although nowhere near as robust as the Clin-eguide database, Clin-eguide Mobile is made up of several specialized components. Users have access to 5 Minute Clinical Consult (including the pediatric version), A–Z Drug Facts, Drug Interaction Facts, and specialized Clin-eguide content. All of these units are browsable by letter. Users also have the option to search the entire application. Depending on the type of information needed, browsing the individual components may be preferable, because searching has the potential to return thousands of results. Although these are broken out by resource, it can be overwhelming to determine which section to use, especially if one needs to do so quickly. Browsing gives the user the option to search the most appropriate section, which often provides cross-links to additional content.
In most cases, searching by topic will probably be the most useful to searchers in 5 Minute Clinical Consult. Subscribers can access a complete overview of health concerns. Users can quickly find descriptions, epidemiology, risk factors, general prevention, pathophysiology, etiology, and commonly associated conditions. Topics are cross-linked to both additional and related information. Clin-eguide Mobile provides quick picture icons to help users identify which resource they are navigating to. In addition to ailment-specific information, subscribers also have access to calculators, SNOMED codes, algorithms, and more. The content appears to be timely, although no review date is posted, and is displayed in easy-to-scan-and-digest pieces.
In comparison to many low-cost and freely available medical applications, Clin-eguide Mobile ranks very high, due to its scope and searchability. Many mobile applications seem to offer only pieces, such as calculators or brief overviews, of the suite that makes up the Clin-eguide application. Applications that do offer multiple resources often do not have the capability of searching the application as a whole. For example, Skyscape makes searchers choose where to browse for information. They have the option to look in MedAlert, Archimedes, OCM, and RXDrugs; however, there is no search box to allow users to search across all resources at once. Clin-eguide Mobile allows users to search all of its content and then displays the number of resources found in each component. This can save clinicians valuable time when standing in front of a patient. Instead of having to go to each section and search individually, they can choose the content most likely to answer their questions. Additionally, users can click on the linked endnote to access a full bibliography on each cited recommendation, with the PMCID number. This can be invaluable should the clinician decide to look for additional information later on. The scope of provided references is impressive and seems greater than many other products.
As Clin-eguide Mobile is a component of the regular Clin-eguide database, the cost is included in the institutional pricing, but it currently cannot be acquired as a standalone feature. Access to 5 Minute Clinical Consult can also be obtained through uCentral. There is a minimal learning curve for users, and the application does not require excessive amounts of memory to run. Given the piecemeal options currently available for clinicians, Clin-eguide Mobile's one-stop shopping for clinical information is invaluable.