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Mobile Apps for Respiratory Care

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Do you have an appetite for apps? If so, take a look at a sampling of mobile applications with special interest to respiratory care providers in the slideshow below. 


Just to whet your appetite, here is a short sampling of apps with respiratory appeal, drawn from a seemingly endless techno wellspring of possibilities:

? Respirapedia, Duffy Dog Press, under $20. Quick: What does "Yankauer" mean? Other than being a large suction cup, it is also one of 1,500 terms defined in this interactive dictionary of respiratory terms available at iTunes and Google Marketplace. Respirapedia expands on its print precursor, "Respiratory Care Lexicon," created by Kenneth Bretl, RRT, MA, professor emeritus at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Former program director of DuPage's respiratory care program, Bretl logged more than 30 years teaching. "The field has its own language," he explained, "and therapists need to speak that language." Bretl routinely found himself going over his lectures and picking out essential words and defining them. The result was Respirapedia. Each word in the e-lexicon shows a definition and an explanation of how that term is used in the clinical setting.

? Skyscape Medical Resources, free from Physicians Interactive, is actually one medical app that allows access to diagnostic tools, clinical and drug information, and treatment guidelines through one mobile portal.  Available for all smart phone and tablet devices, Skyscape acts as a conduit to such resources as Cochrane Reviews in Acute Respiratory Infections and AASM-endorsed Insomnia Guidelines Pocketcard. (While Skyscape does connect you to these resources, there is a subsequent fee involved with some of them.)

According to Sanjay Pingle, president of Physicians Interactive, the Skyscape app helps improve patient care by providing practitioners with clinical decision-making support through a single mobile interface. "Let's say you are researching causes of insomnia," Pingle said. "You can move quickly to a resource that can help you review patient symptoms and find different treatment options and drug therapies."

This gateway app also includes a free medical calculator with 200 interactive tools, outlines on evidence-based practices.

? COPD Prepared Facebook App was launched free of charge from the COPD Alliance prior to last November's observance of COPD Awareness Month. The goal was to encourage clinicians to be able to properly screen, diagnose, educate, and provide care for those with COPD. The COPD Prepared Facebook App is considered the cornerstone of the campaign, offering a two-sided application with COPD screening and information available to more than 800 million active Facebook users.

On one side, patients can take the COPD Population Screener to assess their risk for COPD and find additional information on COPD. The other side of the app was developed for clinicians, and it features resources and information, including a downloadable version of the COPD Population Screener.

"We wanted to do something to reach clinicians directly, and we think we have found an effective means with COPD Prepared," said COPD Alliance Chair Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, "and by providing a number of free tools and resources."

? O2 To Go! Cylinder Duration Calculator App by Responsive Respiratory addresses ambulatory oxygen patients' most common question: "How long will my cylinder last?" Downloadable free via the iTunes or Android Marketplace, the O2 To Go! Cylinder Duration Calculator provides techs, therapists, care providers, and patients a tool to determine the amount of ambulatory oxygen available. The Cylinder Duration Calculator automatically calculates the estimated oxygen available based on the user input of device, liter flow setting, cylinder size, and contents.

? The Blood Gas Handbook by Radiometer is now available as a free app for iPhone and iPad through the Apple Store. This app was designed to help clinicians evaluate arterial oxygen status based on comprehensive blood gas analysis, including oximetry, and a related parameter, lactate.

As well as providing guidance and access to information to assist clinicians, interactivity allows users to add and edit their own reference intervals and to include notes for individual parameters. The blood gas app also has a search function, the capability to zoom in on images, and allows import and export of user-defined notes and reference intervals via iTunes.

You can check each one out in more detail by visiting the following web sites: AsthmaMD, Respirapedia, Skyscape, COPD Alliance, Radiometer Blood Gas Handbook, MobiHealth News, Ford , O2 to Go! 


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