1. Blackburn, Susan PhD, RN, FAAN

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This column is part of an ongoing series on selected perinatal and neonatal focused Internet resources that are useful for clinical practice, teaching, or professional development. Starting with this issue, the resources discussed will include both Internet sites and mobile applications (apps). The focus for app recommendations will primarily be on free or inexpensive apps. The Internet sites covered in this column are eNeonatal Review, Genetics Home Reference, Medscape, professional development resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and iMedicalApps; apps include Medscape, Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring, Neotube, Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, and pregnancy wheel apps.


Peer-reviewed continuing education on various neonatal topics is available at eNeonatal Review, which is available from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing Website ( Many topics are available as either podcasts or downloadable pdf transcripts. Continuing education credit is available. Recent issues include "Long-term Outcomes of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia," "Biomarkers and Other New Techniques for Identifying Sepsis in Newborns," "Neonatal Glucose Management," and "Pulmonary Hypertension in Preterm Infants."1 Each issue consists of summary of recent published research on the topic of focus for that issue of the eNeonatal Review newsletter with commentary, alternating with several experts discussing cases in the subsequent issue. Previous volumes (back to 2004) are available on the site, although early newsletters do not contain podcasts in addition to transcripts. These can be accessed on the Internet site or via a monthly email newsletter. There is no cost for this resource.


Genetics Home Reference ( is a resource developed to help consumers understand genetic conditions. Resources on this site are also useful for healthcare professionals. Descriptions of more than 850 genetic conditions, disorders, and syndromes are provided along with links to additional resources. Information about genes can be searched both by individual gene name or symbol and by gene family or classification (biological processes, cellular components, or molecular function). Descriptions of each chromosome are provided along with examples of how changes in that chromosome are related to health conditions. The site also includes a primer on human genetics concepts.


Medscape, which is part of WebMD, includes a variety of resources including review articles, commentary, nursing and medical news, expert columns, patient education, and conference summaries.2 Medscape ( requires a (free) account that can be tailored to individual specialty interests (including obstetrics and gynecology [Ob/Gyn]/women's health, and pediatrics). The Medscape nursing-specific Website is available at Continuing medical education and continuing nursing units can be earned. Medscape includes a comprehensive drug reference (although primarily for adult and older children and not neonates) including herbal drugs. Medscape can be accessed via the Internet and as an app (for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and iPad). The app also allows offline access to contents when Wi-Fi is not available.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse has several short professional development webinars on topics such as developing poster presentations, preparing scientific talks, and writing scientific papers (


iMedicalApps ( is an online resource for descriptions and reviews of mobile medical and healthcare technology and applications. These reviews are done by physicians and medical students. The site allows searches by app type/platform (Android, Blackberry, iPad, and iPhone) and specialty (including Ob/Gyn and pediatrics).


The Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring app (last updated April 9, 2013) is a free app for iPad. This app is a quick reference guide for fetal heart rate monitoring terminology and patterns based on standard classification systems. Examples of different fetal heart rate patterns are illustrated, with treatment recommendations if appropriate for that specific pattern. Also included are sections on how certain drug, uterine abnormalities, fetal conditions, and maternal conditions can affect the fetal heart rate tracing. Quizzes with instant feedback are available for users to test their knowledge. This app was developed by the Fetal Diagnostic Centers (


Neotube (last updated March 27, 2013) is a free app for iPad, iPhone, and Android from the Cork University Maternity Hospital and the University College Cork, Ireland. This app was developed to help clinicians learn neonatal intubation. Content includes background information on neonatal intubation as well as instructions (using text, videos, and illustrations) on the intubation procedure. Hawkes et al3 found that this bedside point-of-care technology when used with residents and fellows improved knowledge acquisition and performance and reduced intubation time.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (USMEC) app (last updated April 30, 2013) is focused on guiding contraception counseling for women who have complicated medical problems. The app is based on the 2010 USMEC evidence-based guidelines published by the CDC (available at: This free app (available for the latest versions of iPhone and iPad) provides information to guide different types of family planning decisions for more than 60 health conditions and characteristics.4


drawMD is a free interactive iPad app for explaining health problems and procedures to patients and families. Various body systems are available, including one for Ob/Gyn. Background pictures and smaller individual pictures or stamps can be superimposed on the screen; arrows and text notations can be added. The drawMD Ob/Gyn app lends itself to explaining reproductive tract anatomy, obstetrical and gynecological procedures, and contraception. The resulting image can be saved as a pdf and emailed.


There are many apps that include a pregnancy wheel, some free and some are available for a fee. A review of 10 of these apps, including a picture of their interface, can be found at


-Susan Blackburn, PhD, RN, FAAN


Professor Emeritus


Department of Family and Child Nursing


University of Washington, Seattle




1. eNeonatal Review. Accessed May 23, 2013. [Context Link]


2. Medscape. Accessed May 23, 2013. [Context Link]


3. Hawkes C, Walsh B, Ryan C, Dempsey E. Smartphone technology enhances newborn intubation knowledge and performance amongst paediatric trainees. Resuscitation. 2013;84:223-226. [Context Link]


4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. Accessed May 22, 2013. [Context Link]