5 Essential Smartphone Apps for Anesthesiologists

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It shouldn't come as a surprise that physicians cherish their phones. A 2010 study revels that 94 percent of physicians are now using smartphones professionally, and this number has only escalated in the past year.

Accompanying increased smartphone usage is a race to develop apps catering to every aspect of every profession, including anesthesiology. Here are five of the most widely-used apps for anesthesiologists today.

1. Handbook of Clinical Anesthesia, $57.95, all phones. This app offers the full text of the most up-to-date Handbook of Clinical Anesthesia at any physician's fingertips. The smartphone version of the handbook includes bulleted text screens and tables and thorough guidelines on perioperative patient care, including office-based anesthesia, disaster preparedness, and bioterrorism.

2. Anesthesia Drugs: Fast, $1.99, iPhone. This is a quick one-step app that provides the dosage range for induction, paralytic and sedative drugs based on a patient's weight, which is entered in by turning a dial. Emergency epinephrine, atropine and nicardipine dosages are also included. Experienced clinicians will find this app particularly useful for cases involving pediatric and bariatric anesthesia.

3. Sota Omoigui's Anesthesia Drugs Handbook, $69.95, all phones. The handheld version of this handbook serves as a guide to key anesthesia and critical care drug information as well as the routes of administration used in anesthetic pharmacology.

4. Epocrates, free, all phones. Widely regarded as one of the most popular apps among physicians, this app includes a variety of clinical references and diagnostic tools. The free version offers a thorough directory of drug information, including brand, generic, and OTC medicines; a pill identifier that asks for the basic characteristics of a pill and lists any medication that meets the criteria; and a medical calculator. The deluxe version is available for $200 per year and includes searchable drug and disease databases, billing code guidelines, CPT references and an extensive medical dictionary.

5. Oxford American Handbook of Anesthesiology, $49.99, iPhone, BlackBerry. A useful resource for physicians, the Oxford American Handbook displays the most up-to-date advice on examination, investigations, common procedures and in-patient care. The app offers concise, bulleted text, reference tabs and a bookmark feature allowing the user to revisit highlighted sections instantly.

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