Communication is changing. Smartphones and mobile computing devices like the iPad and iPhone have become pervasive throughout North American society. We are a culture that is connected to everyone and everything and ubiquitously online. In the second quarter of 2012, Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones and 11.8 million iPads, which were massive growths in numbers for both products over the previous year, supporting the trend that this need for connectivity is only accelerating (1). (The latest releases for 2013 show that apples sales of iPhones and iPads are stable at 31.2 million and 14.6 million respectively; however, the market has been shared with Android users. Samsung Galaxy S4 sold 23 million units in the second quarter of 2013) (2,3). The use of these devices has spread into many professional facets as well, including veterinary and human medicine. Most veterinarians own internet enabled smartphones, and while most vets are still using these devices primarily for personal communication, 79% of those surveyed would like to use their phone to access veterinary reference material like veterinary specific drug formularies (4). Now there is a way to do just that.
Timeless Veterinary Systems launched the Timeless Vet Drug Index™ on July 24, 2013. The Timeless Vet Drug Index™ is the result of a massive collaborative effort between Timeless Veterinary Systems and three well known experts: Dr. Etienne Côté (Clinical Veterinary Advisor), Dr. Stephen Ettinger (Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine) and Dr. Wayne Schwark (PhD Veterinary Pharmacology). The creation of the Timeless Vet Drug Index™ came out of a desire to give busy practicing clinicians an extremely convenient and high quality drug resource, and the realization that veterinarians are largely under-served in the mobile app world. In order to bring their app to life, Timeless brought three of the most trusted names in veterinary medicine together with a dedicated team of software engineers and research assistants. Over the past two years the team devoted thousands of hours to planning, research, and development before the project was complete.
This evidence-based drug formulary was written from the ground up to contain only the most relevant drug information with full link-outs to PubMed abstracts and a visual evidence-based ranking system to evaluate the strength of the evidence. The Timeless Vet Drug Index™ is loaded with helpful features that a veterinarian needs, including built in calculators, tips and tricks from the authors called “clinical pearls”, detailed expected effects, and relevant clinical pharmacological information for optimizing treatment plans and patient care. In addition, the engineers at Timeless have taken some the very best experiences from the apps that people use every day to create a level of intuitiveness and convenience that simply can’t be accomplished in a book. Check out the YouTube video to get a better sense of just how awesome this new app is!
Currently, the research being done into human medical apps and technology integration in clinical practice is skyrocketing. Conversely, very little work has been done on the same parameters within the veterinary community. A quick review of PubMed reveals that when searching the terms “medical” and “smartphone,” 140 hits are obtained as compared to the search of “veterinary” and “smartphone,” where only 1 hit results and is in fact an article on smartphone use in human medical applications. Similarly, when searching more broadly using terms including electronic media (570 versus 14 hits), personal digital assistant (1011 versus 10 hits), mobile apps (27 versus 0 hits), and handheld computers (935 versus 9 hits) the numbers are starkly different between research carried out in human versus veterinary medicine. We may lag behind our cousins in the human medical field in terms of integrating mobile technology into our day to day practice; however, considering the fact that in human medicine, drug reference applications are considered to be the most useful apps to both physicians and medical students, veterinarians have now just broken through a major barrier in the tech divide with the introduction of this evidence-based, veterinary specific app (5).
The app is now available for iOS and can be downloaded for free from the App Store although a subscription to the Vet Drug Index is required to access the content within the app. Annual subscriptions of $69.99 can be purchased through the Timeless Vet Drug Index™ website at www.VetDrugIndex.com. Development is in progress for android devices and the Vet Drug Index will be available on this operating system in the very near future. For more information email Hello@TimelessVeterinary.com.
- Van Velsen L, Beaujean DJMA, van Gemert-Pijnen JEWC. Why mobile health app overload drives us crazy, and how to restore the sanity. BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making 2013; 11(13):23. PubMed Link
- Tam D (July 23, 2013) iPad sales sink, while iPhone sales hit record numbers. news.cnet.com. Accessed July 24, 2013 from http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57595118-37/ipad-sales-sink-while-iphone-sales-hit-record-numbers/
- Epstein Z. (July 23, 2013) Samsung smartphone sales are now absolutely crushing Apple. BGR.com. Accessed July 24, 2013 from http://bgr.com/2013/07/23/samsung-smartphone-sales-q2-2013-iphone/
- Are you smarter than your smartphone? Veterinary Economics 2011; 52(8):10. Article Link
- Mosa ASM, Yoo I, Sheets L. A systematic review of healthcare applications for smartphones. BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making 2012; 10(12):67. PubMed Link