iPad Applications for Note Taking

Step 1: Convert all of the lecture notes and powerpoint presentations into PDF format from your laptop\desktop, which serves as the common format for all the following apps.
  • Dropbox - Free - Store all of your medical notes in the DropBox folder to enable syncing. There are tricks to get more space.
  • iAnnotate - $9.99 - By far the best annotation app. Full DropBox integration. Allows Full-Text search of all your PDFs
  • Goodreader for iPad- $4.99 - Having a second PDF annotation app allows you to use the Four Finger Swipe gesture to move quickly between your lecture notes PDF and your PowerPoint PDF quickly during class. There are many similar apps, any will do.
  • Note Taker HD - $4.99 - One of the top apps for handwriting notes. Takes some practice to get used to all its functions. Downside: lacks full DropBox integration, so each file needs to be "Output" into PDF and then "Open In" Dropbox to upload the PDF.
  • gFlash+ - Free w/ Ads - A simple but effective flashcard program. Upload spreadsheets to your Google Docs account and open them in gFlash.
  • QuickOffice Pro HD - $19.99 - generate Excel spreadsheets and Word docs on your iPad. Full Google Docs integration and good compatibility with MS Word.
  • Cardz - Free - A great way to organize notes to yourself. Can be used for flashcards but gFlash+ is better
  • Office to PDF - $4.99 - Convert Word and PowerPoint to PDF on the fly. Sets up a folder in Dropbox to allow for sync, but doesn't have full DropBox integration (i.e you can't change the folder)

Here's a PowerPoint presentation that offers screenshots and instructions.
Note: This PDF contains annotations that may not be visible in all viewers. Be sure to look at it in Adobe Acrobat Reader or an app that supports viewing annotations.

Other Apps
  • Evernote – Free, but not easy to export
  • Evernote Peek – Free (gFlash is better)
  • WritePad for iPad - $9.99 – supposed to offer handwriting-to-text recognition, but it is quite quite slow and inaccurate especially for medical terms. They do sell a medical pack for $4.99 but it would still probably be quite inefficient
  • Penultimate – Only $0.99 but Note Taker HD has greater functionality
  • Bamboo Paper – a scratchpad with beautiful brushstrokes, but not easy to export
  • Paper by 53 – Like Bamboo Paper, it offers beautiful sketchpad options, but it's not easy to export
  • Pages\Numbers\Keynote - $9.99 each – Good if you only work in Mac, but poor compatibility with MS Office

iPad Accessories

  • Bluetooth Keyboard - Highly recommended, as it increases your efficiency in class dramatically. Generic brands are cheaper and just as functional.
  • Stylus - A stylus is useful during Anatomy when you have to draw a lot, but is less important in later blocks where your finger is sufficient.
    • Adonit Jot - $19.99 Standard, $29.99 Pro - the most precise stylus for drawing, but relatively expensive and not super durable
    • Bamboo Stylus - $29.99 - the highest rated rubber-tipped stylus, but expensive
    • Acase Stylus, Targus Stylus, BoxWave Stylus, Griffin Stylus, Amazon Basics Stylus - About $10 each - cheaper, rubber-tipped, but less precise. All perform similarly. The Griffin is a bit short.

Mobile Learning: iPhone/iPod Apps

Many of these are also available for Android as well. Not in any particular order; I would get the yellow-highlighted apps first.

UpToDate is hands the most complete and easy-to-understand resource. It's only available at institutions with a subscription, unless you buy your own subscription directly from UpToDate. Also available via the web from on or off campus.
  • Epocrates Essentials: a $160 app we get for free through the school.
  • You need to use a link from blackboard to create an account. Go to: Blackboard-->UCD Communities tab-->SOM Student Affairs-->Campus Resources Folder-->Scroll to bottom of page for login information. Epocrates is also available for Android and other devices.
  • Epocrates has several other apps for applying guidelines, such as Epocrates Cholesterol to stratify patients' cardiovascular risk according to ATP III criteria and make recommendations for goal LDL, etc.
  • Micromedex: Alternative to Epocrates; similar content to the free version of Epocrates, but a different interface. The Micromedex Drug Information App is free from the iTunes store. It contains summary information. The Drug Interactions App is available free for our faculty, staff and students with the password Micromedex provides. You must access the Micromedex page through the library's website, (if you are off campus, you will authenticate with your usual username and password) then click on mobileMicromedex in the upper left corner and continue with the directions they provide. Please see this guide for more assistance. Password expiration: When your current password nears expiration, the app will remind you to enter a new one. When that happens, return to the HSL Micromedex page and obtain the new password. Help
  • DynaMed: Alternative to UpToDate, available off-campus and without network connection. Content is comparable but in an outline format rather than paragraphs. Evidence-based, point of care clinical database with disease and drug information. To install to your mobile device, you must:
    1. Download the free DynaMed app from the iTunes Store or Google Play.
    iOS/iTunes App Store Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dynamed-by-ebsco/id948906986?ls=1&mt=8
    Google Play Store Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=vspringboard.dynamed.activity
    2. **Access** DynaMed from the library's website. (DynaMed is under "Clinical Tools")
    3. Click on the DynaMed mobile access link at the top of the DynaMed interface and enter your University or Hospital email address. An authentication key will be emailed to you.
    4. Open the DynaMed email from your device.
    5. Within 48 hours, tap on the link in the email to authenticate the app.
    6. The DynaMed App opens on your device and begins the initial content download.
    Note: It is recommended that you are on a Wi-Fi connection for the initial download of DynaMed content as well as when updates become available.


  • VisualDx: This app gives multiple images for physical exam findings and is great for derm and other visual findings. It requires a paid subscription ordinarily, however the library now licenses for our campus.
    1. Launch VisualDx and click "VisualDx Mobile" (top right of page).
    2. Create your personal VisualDx account as instructed.

    3. Once you have a username and password, you can download the free VisualDx Mobile app on your mobile device from the iTunes Store or from Google Play.
    4. Launch the VisualDx app from your device and sign in using the username and password you created.

    App supports: iPhone/iPod/iPad and Android.
  • Isabel dx: Isabel dx is a diagnosis checklist system that is also integrated into the Dynamed platform. Available for iOS and Android.
  • MedScape: A good free alternative to Epocrates and UpToDate. Also contains tables and references including anatomy, protocols, etc. Requires signing up for MedScape.
  • ClinicalKey:Formerly FirstConsult/MDConsult. Contains many textbooks. Usable as a mobile website or as downloadable app.It has fewer articles than UpToDate, but is similarly detailed.
    • To use the mobile app, you must first create a free Clinical Key personal login/password - do this by first visiting the Clinical Key link from the library's website, then click Register in the upper right. Then download the app via your phone's App store and log in using your new credentials.
  • Diagnosaurus: Costs $1, available for iPhone and Droid. Lists ddx for a huge number of symptoms, diseases, and systems. I suggest quickly checking this before seeing a patient with that sx to remind you what hx and PE findings to look for. Note that it is available as a freestanding app or through skyscape. Available free on Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile - http://www.unboundmedicine.com/register/reg?cmd=diag&style.m=mh
  • NEJM This Week: Full-text access to the latest issue of NEJM, as well as the Images in Clinical Medicine archive
  • Annals of IM: Abstracts for the latest issue of Annals of Internal Medicine; Become a student member of American College of Physicians and input your login info to get full-text access through the app.
  • NextBio: Search PubMed and a few other medical databases and clinical trial registries.
  • AHRQ ePSS: Access to the full range of recommendations from the USPSTF. Browse guidelines or input patient demographics to see tests recommended and not recommended for that patient.
  • MobileRSS: (See the RSS section below)
  • - Remote HD - $7.99 – Allows you to control your computer desktop from iPad. Able to use VHD on iPad with this app.
    - Dragon Medical Dictation - Free
    - Blaufuss Sound Builder – Free

Apps for Life

Checkout the #Homescreen website to see what the most popular iOS on home screens of users that have submitted a screenshot (awesome).
  • Mint - Free - this app can help you set a $1,500\budget (the amount of loan you are allowed to take out) and track your progress
  • Flipboard - Free - a great interface for news, Facebook stories, Tumblr, etc.
  • GoTasks - Free - a good To Do List app that syncs with Google Tasks in Gmail
  • Timer+ - Free - a good timer to help you stay on task
  • eWallet - $9.99 - an encrypted password locker for all the website and apps you'll be using during med school.
  • iExplorer - Free - an app you download on your Mac laptop or desktop that allows you to view the folder system of your iPad when it's connected.
  • Beeline RTD - $2.99 - contains time tables for all bus and light rail lines you can ride with your student bus pass.
. Launch VisualDx (preceding is our institutional link) and click "VisualDx Mobile" button at right of page.
2. Create your personal VisualDx account as instructed.
3. Once you have a username and password, you can download the free VisualDx Mobile app on your mobile device from the iTunes Store or from Google Play.
4. Launch the VisualDx app from your device and sign in using the username and password you created.
App supports:
iPhone/iPod/iPad and Android.