Background The use of smartphones and their applications are providing health professionals with opportunities to integrate technology into clinical practice. The number of work-related applications available to health professionals is increasing. Certain specialities have a large number of resources available for health professionals; however, the availability of applications specific to palliative medicine is, as yet, limited.
Aim To review all smartphone applications available to the five most popular operating systems (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm and Windows) which are targeted to health professionals within palliative medicine.
Methods Each smartphone app store was queried with a combination of the following keywords: palliative, pain, cancer, symptoms and medicine. The applications were purchased and tested if their title and/or description showed relevancy to palliative care.
Findings Six applications specific to palliative medicine were identified across all five operating systems. These consisted of blog orientated applications (Pallimed and Geripal), an app containing guidelines from eight cancer networks (PalliApp), an education based app (Palliative Care) and opioid dose converter applications (eOpioid and PalliCalc).
Conclusion There is a lack of palliative medicine specific resources available for smartphones. No literature currently exists to examine the potential benefits of mobile technology on learning, clinical practice and professional development. This is an opportunity for further research and development. Academic institutions could partner with technological developers to improve access to, and dissemination of information. Considered development of mobile technology has the potential to improve patient care, data sharing and education within the speciality.
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