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Let’s Examine DocWire

June 2017

By Tom Stibolt, MD, Mobile Musings Column Editor

A couple of years ago I saw an application called DocWise. I signed up but did not find it all that useful so I deleted it. Recently, I received an email from the developers. They have completely redesigned the app which has been renamed DocWire.

By downloading the app and signing on with the credentials I had used for DocWise, my previous data was waiting for me.

The developers state that DocWire is an iPad and iPhone app for physicians designed to make staying up-to-date simple and enjoyable. DocWire lets the user select the journals, news sources, and topics of interest to them. The app stays live and up to date as new content is published allowing users to see what’s new in real time across journals, medical news, and mainstream news. Users can also develop customized topics to track specific conditions of interest. Users can also save articles to read offline and easily share articles with colleagues.

All of our journals–except for the Annals of the American Thoracic Society–are available as are journals of our sister organizations. Medical news from numerous society news sources as well as sources such as NPR and The Washington Post are available. All sources can be individually enabled or disabled.

The various articles are displayed much as on a newspaper website with two columns of headings each with a couple of sentences describing the reference. Clicking on an item brings up more detail. For journal articles, the abstract is displayed. A link at the bottom takes one to the full article. Some articles are entirely available as text or a PDF if they are open access. Others require either a login or purchase of the full text. There is also an option for an institutional sign on. The abstract can be easily shared. Full text depends on the journal site.

In settings, one can set a specialty and subspecialty that will presumably bring that material to the first pages. I cannot tell that it did so after switching between critical care and pulmonary disease. The app can also be configured to send email or SMS alerts about breaking news. These are set at a broad level with journals, news, topics, and polls being the individually configurable options.

The home page shows a collage of all sources. It is also possible to browse specific journals or news sources.

The items seem to be displayed by date with most recent first. Inexplicably, the newest articles all were dated June 1 even though I was writing this on May 24. A display at the bottom of the screen shows you where you are in time but unfortunately, cannot be used to quickly navigate forward or back several days at a time.

I think this app shows a lot of promise. It is only currently available for iOS devices and is free.


Editor’s note: The ATS does not endorse any of the programs or products mentioned in this column.

Last Reviewed: September 2017