Physical Exam Essentials

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Price: £1.79

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This App takes you through the essentials of both physical examinations and some histories, however the key word here is essentials. Whilst it may be good for quickly looking up the basics on the first day of placement, I wouldn’t use it for much else.
                There is a good use of photos, which are clear and can be blown up to a good size. As opposed to Medscape they are also available offline, which is a bonus. However they are used in some places and not others, which can be frustrating sometimes. It is also very easy to use and navigate, with each system set out from a clear menu. Within the pages themselves, there are also ‘jump’ buttons, which you can use to skip to certain bits of the examination.
                As already mentioned, I feel that this App’s downfall is that it has overshot it’s target of covering ‘essentials’, and now contains just very basic knowledge. For example they cover the neurological history in 15 words, nowhere near enough. Similarly in the examination sections, it guides you through a very rough examination of the system as a whole, pointing out some signs along the way, however it would be useful to include some focussed examinations for certain common conditions.
                Whilst reasonably cheap (£1.79), I don’t think this app gives you anything that you cannot find in the oxford handbook or on the internet, and if I had to spend the money again, it would be on the bus into hospital, where I feel I would learn a lot more by asking a junior doctor for some bedside teaching.


Review by Paddy Green
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