The famous Merck Manual is now offered from Unbound Medicine in a new format and in a bundle of symptoms and drugs resources.
The original Merck Manual was previously offered from Unbound Medicine as a stand-alone PDA product, but recently they have added two optional resources to the package; These are the Merck Manual with patient symptoms and Davis Drug Guide for physicians.
So let’s see how it looks on Windows Mobile:
The solution is available for Palm, Pocket PC, Blackberry, and also as a wireless website and a regular website [check it out here http://www.unboundmedicine.com/merckmanual/ub] all for one annual subscription price. If only the manual it is $50; if you add the symptoms guide it is $60; and if want the Davis Drug guide added then it’s $80. The website amusingly includes “topic of the week” to engage the visitor.
So the patient symptoms is essentially a list of commonly encountered symptoms each being detailed in etiology, pathophysiology, evaluation, treatment, and key points. Many of the symptoms are appropriately addressed to pediatric practitioners for example cough in children and constipation in children and even a topic about crying.
There is also a wireless update button that will allow us to update the contents [bimonthly for the Merck Manual and more frequently for Davis] and also to send search queries to our online account. Sounds great right!
However, there were many missing features that we wished to see in this reference, here’s a list
- There is no real differential diagnosis generator and so it can not be counted as a real DDx app.
- Many clinical presentations are missing, for example you don’t have hypokalemia or abnormal tendon reflexes. There are only symptoms and the most common ones only.
- Still many of the symptoms are adult-only, for example there’s no headache in children or pediatric GI bleeding entries.
- Some entries found in the original reference are not listed in the patient symptoms even when they are perfect symptom topics for example Bruxism.
- There is yet no native iPhone app for this title, although we can perfectly visit the wireless website on our iPhone’s and iTouch’s Safari.
Hopefully we will see big improvements in future versions of this suite.