Searching for Drug and Disease information using your Tablet – new web app drugdzHD
Posted Oct 09 2012 6:34pm
Iltifat Husain (editor of iMedicalApps) makes a case for Epocrates becoming irrelevant in the iPad era primarily as they don’t have an iPad optimised app. I agree that though their current iOS and Android apps will run on tablet devices, they aren’t really optimised for tablets and I particularly dislike the way the app forces you to hold it in portrait mode. I personally prefer to hold a tablet in landscape mode myself. One point Iltifat is missing is that there are so many challengers for Epocrates these days it makes Epocrates less relevant too. One of the biggest challengers is Medscape which offers a free comprehensive drug database as well as a large online medical reference (based on eMedicine) which is completely free. Medscape also has an app which runs on tablets but again the annoying “force to use portrait mode” issue.
The other point is that mobile internet is quite pervasive nowadays, given the ubiquity of Wifi hotspots or cellular data services on tablets with Sim slots, so searching for information using your browser is handy. I use a Samsung Tab 7.7 running on ICS which has great stable Wifi and 3G data so I have Internet access practically everywhere. The Samsung’s screen is gorgeous with a crisp high resolution display.
Anyway I thought I’d optimise my web app DrugDz (which has it’s roots in the webOS app DrugDz Search for the HP Touchpad) to scale it for a tablet. Automatic scaling didn’t quite look nice on my Samsung so I wrote a web app specifically to run on tablets: drugdzHD
The concept is the same – just enter a search term and click on one of the free providers to enable fast Internet based retrieval of drug, disease and ICD9 information. The provider (e.g. Medscape) may require you to sign in your account first but the accounts are free anyway. While you need an Internet connection to use the app, you do not need to constantly update the drug or disease database for the app on your device. The other advantage is that you can search multiple providers easily for the same drug or disease information. For users in the Asia Pacific region I have also included a handy MIMS search option. Do check out this web app (which incidentally will also run on Chrome and Safari on your desk top so you can book mark it) and let me have feedback/comments/criticism here. Like the old DrugDz app I hope to eventually make a standalone Android app (the current one seems to have positive reviews in the Play store )