Improving Daily Practice With Four Medical Apps


These mobile apps can help physicians and patients with treatment recommendations, treatment adherence, and smoking cessation.

Fam Pract Manag. 2017 Mar-Apr;24(2):27-29.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.

It seems there's an application for everything these days, even in health care. More than 165,000 mobile health apps are now on the market, according to one report.1 Additionally, almost 60 percent of mobile phone users surveyed said they have downloaded a health-related mobile app.2

Finding quality apps to recommend to your patients or use yourself can be overwhelming. This article seeks to help, reviewing four highly useful medical apps using FPM's “SPPACES” app review criteria. (See “App review criteria.”) The apps can help primary care physicians with several common treatment tasks:

  • Determining whether to prescribe aspirin therapy,

  • Treating symptoms in menopausal women,

  • Ensuring patients adhere to their medication for acne,

  • Providing tobacco users motivation and reinforcement to quit.


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)

Aspirin Guide

Aspirin Guide allows health care professionals to compare the risks and benefits of low-dose aspirin based on their patients' individual risk factors.

Source: Digital Clinix, LLC.

Platforms available: Android; iOS 8.1 or later for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Pertinence to primary care practice: Aspirin Guide provides guidance for busy clinicians to determine if their patient is a candidate for low-dose aspirin therapy (75 mg to 81 mg daily). The app quickly calculates 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk and bleeding risk scores as well as the number needed to harm (NNH) and the number needed to treat (NNT). It uses that information to provide an easily understood guidance statement advising for or against low-dose aspirin treatment.

Authoritativeness/accuracy/currency of information: Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital developed the app. The aspirin bleeding risk is based on the 2016 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's evidence synthesis and published studies cited on the app's website. The 10-year cardiovascular risk is based on the ASCVD calculator created by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA).

Cost: Free.

Ease of use: The process takes a couple of minutes the first time you use the app. After continued use, entering data takes less than 30 seconds. Moreover, clinicians can email the summary to the patient, themselves, or both. The summary includes the patient's ASCVD risk score and recommendations for or against starting low-dose aspirin, as well as the NNT and NNH.

Sponsor: None.


This is an essential app for anyone who counsels patients on starting or stopping low-dose aspirin.


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About the Author

Dr. Rebedew is a family physician at Monroe Clinic in Albany, Wis., and a faculty member for the University of Illinois Rockford Family Medicine Residency.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.



1. IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Patient adoption of mHealth: use, evidence and remaining barriers to mainstream acceptance. Parsippany, NJ: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics; 2015. http://bit.ly/2iei239. Accessed Feb. 2, 2017.

2. Krebs P, Duncan DT. Health app use among U.S. mobile phone owners: a national survey. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015;3(4):e101.


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