Saturday, January 17, 2009

ECG Reference for iPhone

There are 2 ECG reference tools for iPhone now available. We'll take some time to compare and evaluate them.

The first program to be released to the medical iPhone community is 'The ECG Guide', created by QxMD Software. QxMD has created free medical apps such as Cardio Calc, Neph Calc and Heme Calc.

The ECG Guide has several key features:
  • Detailed approach to 12 lead interpretation (including rate, rhythm, axis, wave forms and intervals)
  • Detailed approach to arrythmia interpretation
  • Extensive notes on ECG findings
  • >100 sample ECGs
  • Quiz Feature
  • All ECGs are high resolution and can be zoomed for detailed viewing
  • Priced at $5

The other program, entitled Instant ECG, is created by the people at iAnesthesia who brought us iAnesthesia Case Logs.

Key features of Instant ECG include

  • Simulated rhythm strips
  • Priced at $10
  • Quiz feature
  • Use of visual elements

Both products were compared in detail, and almost immediately it became apparent that the content in The ECG Guide is superior and more practical. While the visuals of the simulated rhythms strips are certainly well done, in clinical training and practice, one works primarily with 12 lead ECGs rather than relying on a moving rhythm strip. Instant ECG only offers a limited collection of 12-leads, while The ECG Guide contains more than 100 throughout the program. As an added bonus, this extensive collection is nicely organized into an index for ready reference.

Clear descriptions of ECG findings and diagnostic criteria are critically important for an app in this category. Again, The ECG Guide stands out with a more detailed and thorough approach to the subject matter. Instant ECG provides a nice introduction, but really needs to delve into more detail.

In terms of price, both are very affordable and good value. The ECG Guide certainly comes out as a better bargain, given its lower price and more practical content. Nonetheless, one might consider shelling out an extra $10 to see the visuals of Instant ECG - but only after the obligatory purchase of The ECG Guide.

While the clear winner between the two is 'The ECG Guide', it's great to see competition to create an outstanding app in this important area. We're a little concerned that perhaps the folks at iAnesthesia may have taken competition a little too far and planted negative reviews for The ECG Guide and left glowing reviews for their own app. Have a look at reviews by iPhoneRC and HazelGroup - a little suspicious by our assessment...

Both programs are available in the App store or can be downloaded through iTunes:

The ECG Guide - our rating: 5 stars

Instant ECG - our rating: 3.5 stars

Here's looking forward to more great Cardiology apps for the iPhone and/or iPod

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ACLS for iPhone

Software that provides access to ACLS protocols at the point of care (with a device such as the iPhone) is a wonderful idea.

The design of 'ACLS', created by, is simple and easy to use. Reviews on the program are mixed but the general consensus is that while the program does contain useful protocols, it would be preferable to have more detail on medications and include sample rhythms and ECG tracings. We would agree that incorporating 12 lead ECGs that show off potential arrythmias or infarct patterns would be highly beneficial.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cardiology Software for the iPhone

The iPhone is becoming a powerful medical tool. For those interested in Cardiology, new tools are appearing frequently.

The program Cardio Calc is a welcome contribution to the medical practitioner's handheld arsenal.

It is advertised as a "critical tool for anyone - not just Cardiologists, managing patients with cardiovascular disease or hyperlipidemia" and certainly lives up to the claim. There is an extensive number of clinical calculators that allow one to:

  • Determine cardiovascular risk and guide lipid treatment using the Framingham and Reynolds Risk Scores
  • Use the CHADS2 score to guide treatment in atrial fibrillation

  • Better understand the risk of bleeding from anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation
  • Determine if ones patient might benefit from a stress test by calculating pre-test probability of coronary artery disease.
  • Determine prognosis in heart failure using the Seattle heart failure model, Forrester heart failure class and Stevenson heart failure class.
  • Diagnose Infective Endocarditis

  • Determine predicted mortality (EuroSCORE Logistic) and risk of dialysis with cardiovascular surgery
  • Use the TIMI risk score in ACS to help guide treatment

  • Calculate ideal body weight, BMI and BSA
  • Correct QT in an ECG
  • Review classification of angina (CCS) and congestive heart failure (NYHA functional class)
The program also contains an extensive collection of additional calculators making it a useful general calculator as well.