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Doc APProvED: A Day in the Life of an iPad

Castro, Harvey MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000369262.69911.38
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.

After running around the ED all day, I decided to kick back to read a book. I picked up my iPad, opened my Kindle app, and browsed for a book to purchase. More than 450,000 books are available for download, and the Kindle app includes free samples. Then I decided to look at the list of books offered by iBooks. I immediately noticed two nice features: the page landscape view and animation that mimics turning pages.

After reading, I decided to listen to National Public Radio. The NPR iPad application allows users to listen to hundreds of public radio stations live; all you have to do is enter a ZIP code, and it will stream the news. It also allows users to share stories by email, Twitter, and Facebook.

Next, I opened my ABC Player app, and was able to watch the latest episode of “V” in landscape mode. The video uses the full screen, and the picture quality is sharp. While I am watching TV, my wife asks me about the weather forecast. I pause my show, and open Weatherbug Elite. The app allows me to show her animated radar maps, a six-day forecast, and an hourly forecast. I resume watching my TV show, but my wife reminds me that my time is up, and she wants to catch up on her magazines. She opens her Zinio app, and reads her favorite magazine.

Later, it's my turn again. I need to practice my medical French, and I open the iPad Medical French app by Bautoul. This well organized and easy-to-use app allows me to communicate with my French-speaking patients, permitting me to take a history and perform a physical on nearly any patient. Medical French closely mimics native speech with questions and instructions that are phrased in a yes-or-no format to facilitate understanding.

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This is an interesting application. The online edition is free, but the app for any of the Apple devices is $5.99. The app contains more than 600 pages of information on anti-biotics, organisms, and diseases. It is updated monthly, and contains references from PubMed and other primary sources. (

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IMCQS (Casebook of Primary Care)

This excellent iPhone app ($2.99) will be better on the iPad. The pictures are excellent, but the images are difficult to see on the small screen. This can be partly solved with the pinch-and-zoom feature of the iPhone. The nice part of this application for emergency physicians is that it provides a good refresher of our medical school rotations in internal medicine and dermatology. The application will start exactly where you left off, a nice feature. The immediate feedback feature is also helpful.

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A2Z of Dermatology HD

This new app ($3.99) available for iPad and iPhone is useful when you need references for a dermatology case. The app has more than 100 dermatology illustrations, and also contains links to specific topics on Google, which allows users to find more examples of each disease. The interface is user-friendly, the search function is helpful, and the summaries are succinct and informative.

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

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