Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What are the Smart Apps in Oncologist's Phone

Last June, a Romanian start-up Cronian Labs released an iPhone app Skin Scan which claimed that it can help with early diagnosis (or warning signs) of melanoma.  The availability of Skin Scan at Apple iTunes Store was widely covered in the media (eg, read here and here).  And, it was also the first time I put medical apps on my radar screen.
There are now hundreds of medical apps, and it is not unsurprising to find oncologists and cancer researchers using a variety of these as reference tools, calculators and diagnostic aids.  Here is a short list:

Reference tools:
  • ASH Guides
  • Pubmed on Tap: reference search.
  • ASCO journal apps, such as, Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  • NCCN app: National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines.
  • Epocrates Rx: drug info, etc.
  • UpToDate: evidence-based reviews on various medical conditions.
  • ShoulderDecide (by Orca Health): shoulder-specific information, including 3-D models, visualization tools, surgical videos, radiology pictures.
  • CTSNet wiki notes: reviews thoracic surgery.
  • Molecules: 3D models of chemical entities and drug molecules.

Clinical Trials:

  • Advanced RCC Prognostic Calculator developed by Pfizer: It is based on data from MSKCC, New York, NCCN guidelines for kidney cancer.
  • Calculate by QxMD: clinical calculator.
  • FRAX developed by WHO: to assess bone density and fracture risk.
  • HemeCalc: provides heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) scores.

Diagnostic aids and decision-support tools:
  • CollabRx by College of American Pathologists (CAP) helps with therapy decisions for lung, melanoma and colorectal cancers. Read here. 
  • My Cancer Genome helps doctors see a list of therapeutic options for cancer, based on a patient’s tumor gene mutations.  It was a finalist in the ONC's challenge (see above).

Social Media (gated communities with door sign "physician-only"):
  • Doximity:  HIPPA-complient with encrypted messaging.
  • Sermo:  also physician-only site

Apps for Cancer patients and About Cancer:
  • Cancer.Net app by ASCO (is for cancer patients as wells as oncologists).  iMedicalApps calls it must-have app for patients. Visit here.
  • Livestrong app by Lance Armstrong Foundation to help cancer patients track their disease.
  • Pain Squad by Cundari, Toronto, helps kids undergoing chemo and radiotherapy keep detailed pain logs by disguising the data entry as a game. Read here.
  • Caring Bridge  by

General time-sucking apps:
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • News - all kinds! (Did I forget ESPN!)


Attribution: This post contains information shared by Scott Kahn, Chairman, Biomarkers Council-ICAN; his friends; and, I also borrowed from a post by Michael A. Thompson, "Oncology Smartphone Applications: Perspectives From a Researcher/Community-Based Hematologist/Oncologist and a Physician Reviewer of Medical Apps." published at Cancer Network on March 9, 2012.

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