App Review – Journal Club

I am always in search of good smartphone apps and I just had a chance to review the Journal Club app which aims to bring summaries of the most important medical studies to your fingertips.

If there’s one thing that’s harder to remember than medical eponyms, it would be naming major clinical trials and their significance. The Journal Club app is available for both iOS and Android and is very simple to use.

The app is based off of Wiki Journal Club, a website run by residents from Standford and Georgetown. They select and review key studies that are important to know. Their goal as per their website is to provide open, user-reviewed summaries of the top studies in medical research

Interface

The app has a simple and clean interface that’s easy to navigate. When you open the app, it presents all the trials in an alphabetical order. You can also choose to sort by specialty or by disease (eg. Heart Failure) .

  

The app is really responsive and once you select a trial, it brings up an easy to read summary. It breaks down the sections starting with Bottom Line, which is a one sentence summary of the trial. The Major Points than outlines the key aspects of the trial and it’s findings.

Afterwards, there is information around the Study Design, Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria, Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes. At the end, they have a Reference section that includes links to the journal article, pubmed and PDF for download if available.

  

Pros

  • Easy to use interface, light app, fast to load.
  • Summaries are well done – concise but still has all the relevant information available
  • Broad range of trials available, there are about a hundred so far.
  • Great Formatting, easy to read font, information presented in an organized matter.
  • App will be updated along with their online wiki.

Cons

  • Still missing many landmark trials – especially in the Cardiology section, the one specialty you need to know trials for.
  • There are still many links to trials that say “That summary doesn’t exist yet.”
  • No search function
  • Would be nice to have swipe navigation but not a must
  • Navigation within each trial to the relevant sections could be improved to prevent excessive scrolling

Price

  • $2.99

Conclusion

  • Excellent app with great summaries of important trials.
  • Easy to use interface
  • Constantly being updated and with more summaries done the app will be even better
  • Missing many cardio trials. There’s a wiki Cardiology Trials Quick Review or you could try the CHF Trials app, which many cardiology fellows recommend.
  • This app has a lot of potential. The $2.99 goes to supporting their Wiki Journal Club and is a small price to pay.
  • Looking forward to more updates and can definitely recommend this app.

Check out Wiki Journal Club, where all their summaries can be viewed online for free, to get a feel for it. You can also volunteer to help grow their database of trials.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free app for review. I have no other ties with Wiki Journal Club to disclose.

2 Responses to App Review – Journal Club

  1. medvice says:

    excellent!!!!

  2. Dave says:

    Based in part on this excellent review, we’ve added a search function to the app. The latest version is available for purchase at http://journalclubapp.com. Thanks again for the review.

    Best,
    Dave

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