The MedCrunch Top 10 Tech Services for Physicians

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We are big fans of the Internet and innovative Startups that evolved from the myriad of bits and bytes in times of the ARPA net. Thankfully the internet has become a virtual secondary market, a market that disrupts existing business models, opens up entirely new communication forms and – in general – democratizes.

From the heart of Silicon Valley to Eastern Europe, a breathtaking amount of Startups and ideas emerge on an almost daily basis, whereas most of them remain undiscovered (or unsuccesful).  The vast amount of newly founded consumer-orientated web companies often makes it difficult to discover the pearls among them and distill the best and most useful of them.

Now we’ve compiled a list of 10 startups and services, which we believe every modern physisican should at least know about. They might facilitate our daily routines, make us work more efficient or simply solve a problem that’s been bothering us for ages. So, let’s get down and dig into the

MedCrunch Top 10 Tech Services for Physicians

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1. Imagine you can take notes anytime, anywhere and on every device your bright mind could ever imagine. Evernote, a Mountain View based Startup. lets you capure all your toughts in multiple forms of media – be it text, audio, video or anything remotely related. It has been coined “the virtual memory” and that’s essentially what the service is trying to accomplish. Evernote makes it incredibely simple to aggregate these things – and maybe more importantly – to search them across all types of platforms in a fast and efficient manner. Take notes on your patients, store interesting articles or studies you come across in your office or at home and enjoy reading them later.

2. Meet Mendeley. Often quoted as the “iTunes of Research”. It’s a download client for researchers from all walks and it let’s you “organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest publications”. Apart from the beautiful user interface and its intuitive handling, you can also access it via iPad and iPhone. Give it a try if you are a researching doctor and say goodbye to “Endnote”. Alternatively you can also check out Papers.

3. With so many doctors running around with smartphones it’s no wonder that mobile drug information apps are seeing tremendous growth. Its most popular representative (at least in the U.S.) is clearly ePocrates. They’ve been on the smartphone track from the very early days and have since then improved their mobile apps with every version. Loads of ePocrates-like apps are available throught the world, they hugely improve your effectiveness in your daily clinical practice.

4. Whether you want to share notes with your collegues or have a collaborative Excel Worksheet that’s accesible from anywhere in the world. Google Documents, the heavily used cloud doccument solution from the web’s giant Google, is fast, intuitive and simply works. There are also lots of templates out there in the wild, that truly facilitate coordinating shifts and holidays with your collegues in residency or with collegues in your office on the countryside. It’s integrated chat functionality and real-time update of changes makes this a must in our list. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the fact that you can work on one document simultaneously. Alternatively, we also love Dropbox for all those of you who want to store their shared documents directly on their hard-drive.

5. Sharing photos on the web has become of the core elements the web nowadays offers. Through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and numerous other services and tools billions of photos are continuously shared with your online contacts. Now these photos are usually avaiable on the web. They are public and can be shared again – an implicit element of the web. However, there are always photos that you only want to share with a certain and limited group of people. Say you have a rare form of melanoma in your office and seek help by fellow physicians. With Path, a fairly new startup by a former Facebook employee, you can take a photo of it and decide with whom you want to share it – sharing is limited to a maximum of 50 people. The concept seems awkward, and it might seems even more awkward to have Path in our list, but we believe it’s truly a usecase where probably even its founders haven’t thought about yet. Maybe they should. Notwithstanding these useful aspects, you should consider your national privacy laws before you start sharing your patients’ photos with your peers.

6. We all know and love-hate Pubmed, the world’s primary ressource for medical literature. Now Pubget comes into play. A nifty and beautiful Pubmed-hack. It’s reduced, simple, fast and let’s you download papers and abstracts as a PDF. There’s nothing more to add so this might replace your Pubmed bookmark anytime soon.

7. Admit it, everybody is tired of those boring bullet point-powered Powerpoint presentations. The more often Powerpoint is being used, the harder it gets to secure your audience’s awareness. The scientific world is eagerly awaiting something better then Powerpoint, yet many don’t even know that they want to have a new visual experience. A little yet remarkable startup out of eastern Europe starts where Powerpoint ends. With Prezi you can create stunning, creative and never-seen before presentations. It’s free, web-based and should secure some “wow” moments at your next presentation.

8. Twitter is becoming an increasingly popular tool – even for physicians. More and more of them are tweeting about new gadgets and are interacting with each other. If you are not on twitter yet, then sign up, follow us and you’ll find a new way of consuming information. It’s real-time, bounderless, multi-lingual and impressive. You can also follow our followers, they are a very interesting and innovative crowd!

9. Getting things done® has also arrived in many doctor’s minds. With bureucracy taking up a lot of a doctor’s time and a lot of work aspects apart from treating patients it’s clear that a work management tool should not be missed in any office or clinical environment to manage your own work days. Take a step back from outdated MS-DOS based EMRs and ugly UIs and check out our choice of GTD apps: Things, Wunderlist or Remember the Milk are among our favorites.

10. Wikipedia. Although one should not entirely rely on Wikipedia, we have to admit it’s awsome. It never seizes to amaze us how detailed Wikpedia entries on medical issues usually are. You shouldn’t look at topics that you are specialized in, but for getting a quick overview on topics you are not involved in on a daily basis it’s still the best and most trusted source on the web.

You have no clue what we are talking about? Then you  might want to get this first. 🙂

Please tell us about your favorite productivity and internet tools in the comments section!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Lukas, I like your broad view of useful tools for doctors–the majority of them were not created for medicine. How would you like to list medical tools on a dedicated page of the event site. Looking forward to socialmedia-ing with u and seeing you in Paris at Doctors 2.0 conference.

  2. To add some of my favorite tools…:

    – Zotero (http://zotero.org): To collect, organize and share my research sources; seamless integration with MS Word for easy & time-saving citing; used to be a Firefox extension, but stand-alone is available now, too (did not give it a try yet). Papers (http://mekentosj.com/papers/) is appealing, but still missing citing funtionality (crucial prerequisite for me).
    – Google reader: Still my favorite tool to stay up-to-date (but slowly being replaced by Twitter)
    – Google Scholar: Depending on individual needs, it’s sometimes superior to good old PubMed
    – Skype, WebEx, Tandberg: for every day communication (in a healthcare IT company…)

  3. Denise, sure – just let me know how and we can do a dedicated post on the conference site! You know how to reach me 🙂

  4. Nice post Lukas and great new resource! Would like to make you aware of @payformance, a way for doctors to go electronic and eliminate paper-based payments! The service is web-based and free for physicians. If we could eliminate paper checks and paper remittance advices in favor of the electronic solution, the healthcare industry could save $109 billion dollars. Look forward to reading more in MedCrunch.

    Thank you,
    Angela Dunn
    @blogbrevity

  5. I think a lot of these applications are good suggestions; however, some of the choices I think could be better.
    1. Lexi instead of Epocrates – I think Epocrates is great, but Lexi usually has more information about the drugs, or at least it appears that way the last time I compared them. The one advantage that Epocrates had over Lexi, at least in the Android version, is pictures of the pills. It came in useful once in the last year that I’ve been using both simultaneously on my EVO.
    2. Onenote vs. Evernote – Onenote is amazing for taking notes in classes or if you have one computer that you’re always using as your “information center.” But, Evernote definitely wins in the multi-device forum (since there’s an android app, linux app, mac app, etc.).

    Nothing to add to these: Google doc, prezi, wikipedia, and twitter – I think all of these are amazing resources. I really wish that Google would just buy all of them out and improve on them…

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