Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

What apps help you give better care? What apps do you recommend to your patients?


Diagnosaurs and many more … pick one to check out this weekend!

Lifelong Learning in Clinical Excellence | January 25, 2019 | <1 min read


Margaret Chisolm, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

CBT-i Coach. The first-line treatment for insomnia is not a pill, but cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (cbt-i). This free app helps you get a better night’s sleep by guiding you through steps to improve your ‘sleep hygiene.’

Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

I love books on tape and always recommend this to my patients through the app OverDrive.  As long as you have a library card, you can download books for free as if you were going to a library.

Several of my patients who attend my Tobacco Treatment Clinic shared that the app has helped them with moments of boredom where they otherwise would be smoking.


What do you think?

Do you want to add to the conversation? Please share!

Laura Hanyok, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

For meditation, stress relief, and/or anxiety I recommend Insight Timer (it’s free!), Calm, and Headspace to patients.

Tim Plante, MD, University of Vermont Larner School of Medicine

For myself, I use Epocrates for drug reference, AHRQ ePSS to look up the current USPSTF guidelines on primary prevention, and AHA Guidelines On-The-Go to look up CVD prevention guidelines. I use Epic Haiku to answer patient messages and check on outpatient results when I’m away from a computer.


I have a lot of hesitancy recommending apps to patients because the vast majority of them have not been validated, and it’s often unclear what will happen to their private data. That being said, I nearly universally recommend the use of fitness trackers for all patients with sedentary behaviors. I have been very impressed with Google Fit’s recent update and integration of the American Heart Association goals. The gamification of exercise is well done, as is the nudges that it provides.

Scott Wright, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

I really like the app Diagnosaurus. When considering a symptom that I encounter infrequently (e.g. facial pain), this app shows me a differential that makes me think more broadly and about potential diagnoses that I would otherwise overlook.