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.
The use of these devices has spread into many professional facets as well, including veterinary and human medicine.
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Currently, the research being done into human medical apps (don’t know what an “app” is?) 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 on 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 physicians and students, veterinarians have now just broken through a major barrier in the tech divide with the introduction of an evidence-based, veterinary specific app (1).
Most veterinarians own internet enabled smartphones, and while most vets are still using these devices primarily for personal communication, 79% of those surveyed would use their phone to access veterinary reference material like veterinary specific drug formularies (2).
Now there is a way to do just that.
Introducing the Timeless Vet Drug Index™
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 underserved in the mobile app world.
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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 veterinarians need, 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.
The Timeless Vet Drug Index™ app is now available for both the iPhone and iPad and can be downloaded for free from the Apple 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. 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 on Timeless Veterinary, contact Hello@TimelessVeterinary.com.
About the Author
Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan is the senior veterinarian at Timeless Veterinary Systems, a software company developing innovative and meaningfully unique technologies for veterinarians that promote the ideals of an evidence-based approach, and excellence in veterinary medicine. In order to continue to keep her clinical skills sharp she practices part-time as a small animal relief veterinarian at a local humane society. When she's not in front of a computer helping to develop cool technologies for veterinarians, she can be found in the great outdoors with her dogs and her family. She is married to her frosh-week sweetheart, Jarrod and they have a little boy, Finlay, and another baby on the way.
1. 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
2. Are you smarter than your smartphone? Veterinary Economics 2011; 52(8):10. Article Link