For me, an app has to be competitively priced, look and feel inviting, be intuitive to navigate and include rich, accurate, up-to-date content.
So how does this product fare?
Price and functionality
GP Antibiotics does well on price, because it's free.
It is likely you would use this sort of app during a consultation, so the number of steps to reach your final destination is critical.
GP Antibiotics offers a clear menu: Adult, Child, Important info and About, with a settings button.
The settings button is basic but clever, in that it consents the user for anonymised data to be made available to the authors, presumably for audit and development purposes. There is also a link to rate it through the usual Apple portal.
Clicking on Adult (click one) takes you to a list of systems such as CNS, URTI and UTI. This is a little odd in places - for example, HIV is separate from immunocompromised. Here, you can select all systems or the one most relevant (click two).
In a system, a list of clinically relevant conditions is provided. Click three takes you to the final destination, the clinical description. Once there, the drug of choice and good clinical notes add to the richness of this product.
So three clicks and you have the information you need, which I think is pretty good.
Test-driving the app to get from home page to final destination took less than 20 seconds. It is a little irritating, however, that you have to retrace your steps, rather than being able to jump directly back to the home page.
The Child section is constructed in much the same way. Unfortunately, there are no dosages in this section and it refers the user to the BNF.
The Important info section offers somewhat random information on drug interactions and again, refers the user to the BNF.
This free app is easy to use, which is handy in a busy surgery. The clinical notes add to its quality. I could not find a version control, which makes me question how regularly updates are sent out.
GP Antibiotics is probably worth having on your smartphone, but needs some nurturing to improve it.
- Dr Thakkar is a GP in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire
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