Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MedCalc for the iPhone

I had never heard of MedCalc for the iPhone but MedCalc had been my medical calculator on the Palm Platform since 1999. I noted that this iPhone version had one of the same authors form the Palm Version, Mathias Tschopp.
So one more medical calculator review: MedCalc

For the iPhone version, Mathias has added a second partner, Pascal Pfiffner. This duo has put together a sharp and innovative medical calculator.
The program has created the best system for finding the equations you use. First off the equations are grouped into specialties. Then the program keeps a list of recently used programs and finally it allows you to generate a list of favorites. Mathias and Pascal have created a new system for marking favorites which is not modal. This makes it unconventional for the iPhone but it also makes generating a favorite list less of a chore. Whenever you are browsing through the equations and you see one you want to add to your favorites all you need to do is double tap the equation and it gets marked by a star. Neat. In addition to categories, favorites and recents, MedCalc also allows the user to search for equations.

The other innovation for the calculator is how the user interacts with the formula. The program does not have separate panels for entering data. all of the values can be seen on one page. The number pad is a panel which can be slid out of the way and is slightly transparent. The whole package is very slick. The units for the variables can be switched by selecting the appropriate unit on the right.

The other cool feature is that the program indicates required variables by shading the background pink. Optional data has a white background. MedCalc swithce from the 4 to the 5 or 6 variable formula on the fly depending on what variables the user inputs.

Additionally for the osmolar gap it includes the optional ethanol level. In terms of information supplied with the equation the program always supplies adequate data for the user to interpret the formula. Some of the references are not the ones I would have selected but overall its pretty slick. In terms of weaknesses, there's no FE Urea. Oh well.

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