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Apps for the ED: MPR, MedCalc, HyperMunes, Medical Spanish

Castro, Harvey MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000372577.77997.24
DOC Approved

Dr. Castro is an emergency physician, the CEO of Deep Pocket Series (, and the creator of several iPhone apps, including IV MEDS, Stroke Scale, A Shockable Ringtone, Drug Seeker, and 1st Follow Up.

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Monthly Prescribing Reference

Using different guides for medications has always been a challenge. In medical school, Tarascon Pharmacopoeia ($39.95) and Epocrates (free) were the two most used references. In residency, I mainly used Pepid as a source for medications, but if my PDA crashed, my go-to book was the Monthly Prescribing Reference (MPR). The book always had medications recently approved by the FDA.

I was pleasantly surprised when the iPhone app for MPR was released for free. The interface is extremely user-friendly. The first tab, Categories, lets users scroll down to see all the medications divided by categories, from allergic disorders to the urogenital system. By touching “urogenital system,” for instance, it goes to a listing that includes urinary tract disorders, overactive bladder/enuresis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, miscellaneous urogenital disorders, and erectile dysfunction. Selecting any of these will provide a list of all the drugs that can be used for that disorder. The user can then select the drug, and it provides all the information needed for that drug. The summaries are concise, and conform to a standard format.

The app also has a Search tab, and as users start typing a drug name, it pulls up different medications. The Tools tab allows users to find medical calculators. If a user needed to calculate the dose of Factor VIII, for example, the app helps calculate the dose. The News tab provides up-to-date drug news, safety alerts, recalls, drugs in the pipeline, and more. The app also allows users to add bookmarks, and has an update button that renews the app. Users also can bookmark favorite medications for a quick access later. The only thing missing is a pediatric dose calculator that allows users to enter a child's weight and get the proper dosages.

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The app store currently has many apps that allow users to calculate multiple different medical formulas. Monthly Prescribing Reference has a section for calculating medical equations, and my favorite is MedCalc. This free app is constantly being updated, and new formulas are added frequently. MedCalc contains multiple equations, and is very user-friendly. It also allows users to find formulas based on medical categories, all formulas, or formulas that the user selects as favorites.

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Hypermunes Pregnancy Wheel

This free obstetrics wheel has more information than the average emergency physician needs. It contains multiple calculations, delivery date, key trimester milestone dates, and routine tests performed during pregnancy. There are other free OB wheels, and they all offer more than we need in the ED. The Hypermunes wheel also lists expected fetal statistics such as age, length, and weight, and explains why certain tests are done during pregnancy.

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Audio-Medical Spanish

Mavro's medical Spanish app is an excellent tool that contains more than 250 questions, including ones about chest pain, respiratory illnesses, stroke, trauma, and OB as well as others to facilitate taking a history, conducting a physical exam, initiating tests and procedures, and providing discharge instructions. Users have only to click on the audio to hear a question in Spanish. This would be great if a translator is not available. The full edition costs $6.99, but users can try it free with the lite version.

Tell us about your favorite apps by writing to Dr. Castro at

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