App Review: DynaMed Plus

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DMP logoName: DynaMed Plus

Publisher: EBSCOhost

Devices: Any iPhone® or iPad® or iPod touch® running iOS 9.3

or higher. Any Android device running Android 4.4 or higher.
The app requires at least 500MB of memory.
Can be authenticated on up to 3 devices per activation link.

We’ve tested this app on an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air2.

Available from: iTunes App Store or Google Play

This app is available to NHS staff and SGUL staff and students.

*Details on how to download and authenticate the app are included at the end of the post.*

Price: Free to download

Type of information: Clinical decision making support tool.

For: doctors and other healthcare professionals at point of care, and healthcare students.

Main Pros: Similar in design, layout and functionality to the web-based version. Content available offline after initial download. Links to full-text supporting articles and guidelines within topic summaries where available.

Main Cons: Requires around 1GB of storage space depending on device. Link to calculators not available on home screen of the app, unlike the web-based version, requires a separate search to access them.

An in-depth look

The DynaMed Plus app is the app version of a point of care resource that St George’s Library subscribes to. It provides access to over 3,400 clinical summaries covering a broad range of specialties and is designed to support healthcare professionals in clinical decision making. It covers the same content as found on the web-based version of DynaMed Plus, with the added benefit of being accessible offline. However, the content can require a fair amount of storage space on your device. The publishers recommend to have a minimum of 500MB free, but in our testing we’ve found the App has required around 906 MB on iPad Air 2 and 1.16GB on an iPhone 6. Presumably this will likely increase as more content is added and updated over time.

In terms of functionality the app is really simple to use and fairly intuitive – it is almost identical in layout and design to the web-based version which presents a nice continuity of usage. The home screen presents you with a search bar and in the top-right hand corner you’ll find a Bookmark icon which houses your previously saved pages, and search history. There is also a settings icon that allows you to change the text size, check for updates to the app and search the help pages, which does require an internet connection.

The search function has an intelligent auto-suggest feature, which will show you your results in the form of topics and searches that match your terms as you type. You can then either review the topic summary directly, or view the search terms instead. Once you are viewing a topic you can scroll through the entire summary as you would a web page, or you can browse by section. How you do this depends on how you are holding your device. In landscape view the section headings can be found on the left of the summary, allowing the user to dip in and out of the topic sections. Holding the device in portrait forces the section headings into a separate bar at the top – you can navigate these by selecting the magnifying glass icon that will appear on the top right of the screen, next to the topic summary heading. There are also other icons in the bottom right of the page that allow you to bookmark the summary, email or print the topic, or make notes if required. If you do any notes to the summary, the empty notepad icon will fill with lines to indicate you have done so.

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Many of the topic summaries provide external links to webpages and supporting articles which will display the article abstract or full-text article if available through an institutional subscription (OpenAthens or St George’s, University of London). Again, despite the app content being available offline you will need to be connected to the internet to access anything linked outside of the app.

Despite being very easy to use, some of the resource’s most useful features are buried within the app somewhat, which is unfortunate. The calculators and decision trees have a direct link in the title bar of the web-version, but no counterpart within the app. They can be found by searching for them, which isn’t as user friendly as a link or icon. This can also be said for the thousands of supporting images the resource has – they can be found and browsed in your search matches, but we felt that embedding them in their own section within the topic summary would make them much more identifiable.

Available to SGUL staff and students

PDF for how to download DynaMed Plus App for SGUL staff and students

Available to NHS Staff

How to download and authenticate the DynaMed Plus app for NHS Staff:

1. Access DynaMed Plus via NHS OpenAthens or the Hospital intranet page

2. Click on the Mobile use – Get the DynaMed Mobile App link under Spotlight.

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3. Enter your email address and click send.

4. An authentication link is emailed to you.

5. Open the email from your device and follow the links to download the app via the iTunes Store or Google Play.

6. When prompted, authenticate the app via the OpenAthens link- look for the Athens link at the bottom of the authentication page.

Note: If you do not tap the authentication link in the email within 48 hours you will need to request a new authentication key from within DynaMed Plus.

7. The DynaMed Plus App opens on your device and begins the initial content download.

Note: It is recommended that you are on a Wi-Fi connection for the initial download of DynaMed Plus content as well as when updates become available. Initial download can take up between 10-30 minutes.

Getting more help

DynaMed Plus have produced this useful video to get you started with DynaMed Plus.

If you need support with your OpenAthens account please contact Stephen Reid sreid@sgul.ac.uk

NHS Staff who are eligible for an OpenAthens account can register here: https://openathens.nice.org.uk/

For training or if you have any questions about access to DynaMed Plus please contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk

 

 

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Quick Look: NICE Guidance

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Name: NICE Guidance

Publisher: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Devices:
Android: requires Android 4.0 and up.
iPhone/iPad: iOS 6.0 or later. App size: 5.8MB
*We tested this on an iPad*

Available from:      Google Play , iTunes and Windows

Price: Free

Type of information:  The app provides mobile access to NICE guidelines for healthcare professionals and students. The evidence-based guidelines offer current pathways for the diagnoses, prognosis and treatment of many health problems. There are hundreds of conditions and diseases covered, as well as different public health topics.

Main pros: 

  • Easy to use
  • Clean interface
  • Official guidelines from NICE
  • Handy mobile tool

Main cons:  

  • Text heavy
  • Limited personalisation features

The updated NICE Guidance app from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence offers on-the-move guidance for healthcare professionals and students. With over 760 topics and guidelines, as well as thousands of individual chapters, the app is text heavy. However, the in-app search box makes it easy to extract information quickly. The app also allows users to browse by topic and by guideline type.

The app is available through NICE and provides access to official NICE evidence-based guidelines which are used to keep health and social care professionals up-to-date on pathways in diagnosing and treating health problems. The information within the app is of a high-quality. Sections include clinical guidelines, cancer service guidelines and public health guidelines. One of the most beneficial features is the new and updated guidance section. New guidelines will automatically update on your device to keep you informed of any developments within healthcare guidelines.

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The app’s interface is uncluttered and easily navigable. You can also personalise the app, although these features are limited. Individual chapters can be bookmarked for use offline, which is useful for keeping track of specialist areas of interest. However, the text cannot be highlighted or annotated.

This app is a good aid for speedy and accurate guidance for the busy healthcare worker, but don’t expect more than what it says on the tin. Overall, the app is intuitive and easy to use and could be a handy mobile tool to have in your pocket!

All posts on this blog are subject to the St George’s Library Disclaimer, please take the time to read it carefully.

Updated: Aug 2017