Elsevier Is in the App Game With ‘Top Doc’

Elsevier is the latest book publisher to experiment with apps. Partnering with video game developer and publisher Legacy Interactive, the scientific, technical and medical publisher has released an iPhone application called Top Doc, which features medical content and quizzes designed to enable medical students, residents and junior faculty to practice and improve their visual diagnosis skills.

“As medicine continues to move into the digital space, products like Top Doc will be excellent resources for medical education,” says Randy Charles, managing director, global clinical reference for Elsevier. “By offering the program as an iPhone app, Top Doc provides mobile access to medical students and practitioners who value on-the-go learning opportunities and high-quality technology capabilities.”

Top Doc, which retails for $14.99 in the iTunes App store, combines content with quizzes developed for levels ranging from novice to expert. Users play against a timer as they try to determine the correct diagnosis by viewing actual photographs depicting a condition or abnormality on the body. At the conclusion of each round, players’ performances are evaluated and given a grade, which they can automatically post to their Facebook account. For players preferring to study the material in a non-competitive manner, Top Doc’s review mode provides the information in a flashcard format.

“Top Doc was built upon a foundation of providing challenging, real-world questions illustrated by high-quality medical images,” says Amber Tully, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the product’s co-author. “With this platform, users are able to experience and react to realistic patient encounters that require quick, concise clinical responses.”

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