Ring In the New Year With Five Five-Star Apps


From keeping up with preventive service recommendations to comparing prescription costs, these mobile apps can make routine tasks a little easier.

Fam Pract Manag. 2016 Jan-Feb;23(1):OA1-OA5.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.

Apps for your smartphone or tablet can make it easier – and sometimes more fun – to complete routine tasks, but finding useful apps can be difficult. In previous issues of Family Practice Management, we and others have discussed a variety of medical apps that can improve your efficiency and the care you provide to your patients.1,2 This article continues that tradition by reviewing five more highly useful apps to consider downloading this year.

We have reviewed these apps using the “SPPACES” app review criteria and have given all of them a top, five-star rating. They address diverse but common tasks for primary care physicians:

  • Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving recommendations for clinical preventive services,

  • Scanning, storing, and sharing documents and educational materials with your colleagues and staff,

  • Comparing the costs of medications at nearby pharmacies,

  • Consolidating numerous risk scores, clinical decision tools, and calculators in one place,

  • Keeping track of your itinerary when you're traveling to a medical conference.


S – Source or developer of app

P – Platforms available

P – Pertinence to primary care practice

A – Authoritativeness/accuracy/currency of information

C – Cost

E – Ease of use

S – Sponsor(s)


With the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS), physicians can quickly search for current recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) based on specific patient demographics.

Source: AHRQ, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Platforms available: Android. iOS 6.0 or later; compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; optimized for iPhone 5. For other devices, see http://1.usa.gov/1NPASlk.

Pertinence to primary care practice: With frequently changing recommendations for screening, counseling, and chemoprevention of various conditions, it can be difficult for the busy family physician to keep up-to-date. AHRQ ePSS puts all of the current USPSTF recommendations into one reference that is easy to use at the point of care.

Authoritativeness/accuracy/currency of information: The app was last updated on Sept. 30, 2015. Users can opt to receive email notifications about new updates.

Cost: Free.

Ease of use: Using AHRQ ePSS, it takes only seconds to find up-to-date screening, counseling, and preventive medication recommendations for patients based on age, gender, pregnancy status, tobacco use, and sexual activity. Each topic notes the strength of that recommendation on an easy-to-understand rating scale and provides references for further information. The app requires Internet connectivity only for the initial download and to access new updates.

Sponsor: Not applicable.


Every physician who provides preventive care should use this app to

About the Author

show all author info

Dr. Rebedew is a second-year resident at the Waukesha Family Medicine Residency Program in Waukesha, Wis....

Dr. Lin is associate professor of family medicine, director of the Robert L. Phillips Jr. Health Policy Fellowship at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and associate deputy editor for American Family Physician online.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.



1. FPM SPPACES: App Reviews department collection. Available online at: http://bit.ly/1PafugL.

2. Walsworth DT. Medical apps: making your mobile device a medical device. Fam Pract Manag. 2012;19(3):10–13.


Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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