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MD Consult

Review Author: Lorraine_Porcello@URMC.Rochester.edu
Platform: iOS
App or Mobile Website: Mobile Web (see Special Instructions)
Does it require WiFi to work? Yes
Category: Reference
Price: Free
Special Instructions: Requires initial account sign-up at the MD Consult website on a PC, after that it can be accessed from a bookmark on your mobile device. On a desktop, go to MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/php/317068732-2/home.html) via the library's homepage and click the Create Account link.
Tasks or Searches Tested: Searched: absence seizures Browsed: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Design: Initial interface is great: one search box that is labeled "search all content" and then an alphabetic list, in groups of 3 letters, of all available "Quick Reference Topics". Browsing interface for each Reference topic is well-organized, with TOC jump-links to well-labeled sections of the page. Search results interface is okay but the search terms are highlighted in each hit, which makes the page a bit cluttered; cursory inspection did not turn up any way to easily increase the text size either.
Functionality: MDC didn't crash, but one odd thing happened: I misspelled a search term (seisure instead of seizure) and the browser auto-redirected to full mdconsult.com instead of staying on the mobile website. Other deliberate attempts to misspell search words did not produce similar results; instead there was a "did you mean??" link at the top of the results page. Other functionality (links, TOC & paging buttons, email button, help links) worked as expected. In books, "See also" references to other chapters are hot-linked, as are references. In journal articles, citations have hot-link to PMID; link goes to pop-up menu so users can copy the PMID or "Add to Contacts." (This is not useful: iPad thinks PMID is a phone number.)
Content: Strange occurrence described above enabled me to discover that mobile MDC has access to less content than regular MDC. For each topic, the "All Search Results" page has a drop-down menu to allow users to filter hits for books, journals, guidelines, "The Clinics", etc. However, comparing the two sites (mobile vs. full) for the same search term (absence seizure) showed that the full site included hits for "patient education", drugs, and images that were not available on the mobile site.
Other Comments: I really like the links that enable users to flip between the "Quick Reference Results" page and the "All Search Results" page for a given topic. One advantage the mobile MDC has is that a large number of "Book results" can be grouped by book title with a list of the number of times the search terms occur in each book. For example, 260 hits for books can be grouped down to 29 books, listed in descending order by how many hits are in each book. Although it doesn't specifically say to do so, I used my URMC email address; you can choose your own username and password.
Reviews from others:
Link Description JMLA, HELP, Original Presser
Link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3066578/
Link http://www.healthlibrary.com/md-consult-mobile.htm
Link http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/elsevier-announces-the-launch-of-md-consult-mobile-69760572.html
Rating:
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