Authors: Charlotte Davies & Fran Arnold / Codes: SLO2, SLO9 / Published: 13/11/2017

Mobile phones are becoming extensions of our arms and quite a few mobile apps can enhance your efficiency and effectiveness as a clinician. However, there are hundreds available to download, and it is quite easy to get lost in the lists of medical apps available. We thought we would jot down a few we think you would find most useful- (most are available on android and iPhone). We have no pecuniary interest in any of these apps! 

BNF and BNFc

This is basically the book BNF on your phone and works offline. The old NICE BNF and BNFc apps have been updated and merged into a mobile friendly version, with separate sections on interactions, wound care, and “borderline devices”. It has a simple search function that makes it easier to navigate than the paper version and interactions are easy to look up in this handy app.

It also has a “medical devices” section where you can very easily look at how much your non medical prescriptions cost – an aerochamber plus is £4.86 (so well worth it in my opinion for improving inhaler technique).

What’s more- you no longer need an Athens password to access this resource.



Although this mobile version of the online site is password restricted (free with an nhs email address), it does save save you shop floor time trying to find a free desktop and compresses all that up to date information into your pocket for reference.

Perfect for when your next door neighbour’s kid swallows a laurel berry and you’re not sure what to do (in theory, laurel can cause cyanide poisoning- in case you were wondering).



This nifty little app stores all the numbers for everyone in your hospital.

“What? My hospital?”

“Yes- Your hospital!”

You simply search and add your default hospital and tadaa– all the important contacts are there on your phone!

Struggling to get hold of the dermatology CNS? Induction probably has the number. Some hospitals also have their guidelines available on app – but none I’ve worked in have had this function available – Now that would be handy!

Unfortunately some hospitals have banned its use since some people (we are not pointing fingers) have added security codes and secret numbers onto this list!


Infections, Microguide or RxGuidelines

The infections app is really popular with doctors in our trust, as it has our hospital’s guidelines easily available. No more looking for a computer to find what antibiotics you need. For those not in the Kings Health Partnership areas, Microguide is a really good alternative – it allows hospitals to add their own hospital guidelines, so should be accurate. RxGuidelines is also used in some trusts and you may even find your own hospital/region has its own app for quick reference.



MDCalc or Qx Calculate

There are so many risk scores that unless you are revising for FRCEM, it is impossible to learn them all!

Everyone has their own favourite app – we like these two.





Paeds Drugs– this is an app designed by our local paediatric retrieval service, STRS. It’s great and allows you to access a huge range of accurate drug doses by weight or age. It also shows you all the acceptable observation ranges for the age entered. Very helpful when you’re getting started with paeds EM but available for iTunes only and costs 1.99GBP to download.

A similar and free desktop version is Crashcall, created by the North Wales and North West (NWTS) Paediatric Transport Service – you just enter what details you have got and it works useful paeds and PICU drugs and infusions out on a spreadsheet for you to print and refer to later.

If you are going to be doing a PICU rotation, a cardiac anomaly app is a must – Heartpedia and Heart Defect are two excellent ways to revise the way your little patient’s plumbing works and Orphanet is the rare disease equivalent to use as a directory on the rounds and handovers.


Other Apps

Not a replacement for language line or other interpreter use, but does serve as a nifty back up to make introductions and set the scene for the consult. It’ll even translate text from pictures!




If you haven’t downloaded it already, the goodSAM responder app allows you to sign up to deliver life saving aid in a very close emergency. You should also download the alerter version (because you never know).

Revision and Admin Apps

We all have to revise at some point and doing this  on your phone is a sneaky way of  just getting that extra bit in when you have a spare minute or two.

TMAnatomy is great for early basic science and anatomy revision and the structure makes it helpful when you just want to double check what anatomical structures are at risk in penetrating wounds too!




iResus is a very accessible summary of ALS algorithms. It covers adult, paediatric and neonatal scenarios in click-through screens with links to drugs, reversible causes and considerations during and post- arrest.




Ankidroid is my favourite app for creating flashcards, with some spaced repetition testing (now to work out how to share my FRCEM cards), and for some things, the old classic evernote can’t be beaten for filing, tagging and processing your revision notes.




EM:Rev is just that – a series of flashcards of key critical appraisal definitions with explanations to read and appraise a scientific paper. It is a great revision tool for the FRCEM critical appraisal exam.




Still haven’t figured out how to download podcasts to listen on the go?

Podcast addict is an android favourite, while iPhone users have their own Podcasts app which is there by default.

It is then up to you to decide which to subscribe to (no hints here).



These are a few of the apps we’ve tried and tested, please share with us any you have discovered which you think we shouldn’t be without – we were going to include Ginventory – which is a must for any Gin lovers out there – but we thought we would leave it at the “medical must-haves” …for now!