People these days are inseparable from their smart phones and tablets. Optometrists and other health professionals aren’t immune to the infectious appeal of these devices; those of us who’ve invested in these hand-held wonders understand their efficiency, capacity and usefulness. They’ve transformed how we communicate and share information in our everyday, hectic lives.

The familiar phrase, “There’s an app for that!” also applies to eye care, with an abundance of ingenious eye-related goodies available for our favorite gadgets. But, there are more than 500,000 apps available in the iTunes marketplace alone. Sorting out what’s useful is not only time consuming, it’s also overwhelming, to say the least. With all of these choices, where do you begin optimizing your device into an optometric powerhouse?

Fortunately, as an optometry student, I have loads of free time! (Sarcasm alert.) So, I’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s a list of more than a dozen apps that I use and have found incredibly helpful with clinical rounds and patient encounters. Grab your smart device and get ready.

Parks 3 Step
Calgary Vision Centre, $0.99
Utilizing your device’s built-in gyroscope and accelerometer, this app is able to predict the under-acting extraocular muscle in two swift movements. This a very quick and accurate way of performing the Parks 3-step test without drawing diagrams.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

ICD 9 (With - 2012 Codes)
T V N, $0.99
Highly rated and inexpensive compared to other apps with similar content. This app has complete offline access to more than 17,500 ICD-9 codes with free updates.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Optics Clinical Calculator
Evan Schoenberg, $4.99
A vital tool for prescribing lenses, this app includes streamlined, intuitive access to optical calculators. Base curves, obliquely crossed cylinders, slab-off and much more are made easy with this efficient app.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Medical Lab Tests
Medicon Apps, $2.99
Interpreting lab results and remembering normal values can often be difficult. Can you recall the normal value of a hematocrit or the reference value for amylase? This application will help you. Included are the most common laboratory tests and their interpretation.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Neurology Suite
Börm Bruckmeier Publishing, free
This is an excellent neurology reference for clinicians. Specifically, it’s a collection of applications containing valuable, quick-reference neuro guides.

This app is actually the “lite” version; for an in-app purchase of $3.99, you can expand it with Neurology i-pocketcards. These are concise neuro-related tables, containing information about ocular movement disorders, cranial nerves, ocular muscle innervations and various tests for nerve function.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

iMedsXL - The Medication Reference
FDAble LLC, $3.99
This app contains full prescribing information for more than 7,300 FDA-approved medications. The advantage to this app is its offline access search via drug name or drug class. It also includes contraindications.
     Compatible with iPad.

Pascal Pfiffner, $1.99
What exactly is an “eponym”? We use them all the time. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s the name of a person or thing, real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, discovery or other item is named. Usher’s syndrome and Addison’s disease are examples of eponyms. This app gives a short description of more than 1,700 common and obscure medical eponyms.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android.

Ophthalmology i-pocketcards
Börm Bruckmeier Publishing, $4.99
Another quick reference guide for the eye care clinician, this app includes quick “pocketcards” on eye anatomy, management of refractive errors, images to test for color blindness, ocular complications of diabetes, and much more.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

The LUMA Vision Simulator app, by Eyemaginations, allows you to perform visual patient education right from your iPad.
LUMA Vision Simulator
Eyemaginations Inc., free
Explaining eye pathology to a patient can be challenging. The LUMA Vision Simulator alleviates some of that difficulty by providing visuals to explain eight common diseases of the eye. Included are dry eye, myopia, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and other commonly encountered pathologies. An on-screen drawing tool allows you to annotate directly on the image for a more detailed approach.
     Compatible with the iPad.

Todd M Zarwell OD, free
Created by optometrist Todd M. Zarwell, this is a companion app to, a website for eye care professionals. The EyeDock application contains a regularly updated database for contact lens fitting and ophthalmic medications as well as keratometric conversions.

Just added: a gas permeable lens database of more than 1,200 lenses, and an interactive refraction tutorial. Although the app is free, an EyeDock membership is required to use it, obtained through
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

CL Calcs
Todd M Zarwell OD, $7.99
This is a “lite” version of the EyeDock app without the need for an EyeDock membership. It provides contact lens calculators and much more. Included is a vertexing tool for spectacles, post-surgical keratometry conversions and contact lens design suggestions, all in the palm of your hand. Also, this is an excellent app to begin designing an RGP lens, as well as for designing other contact lenses.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Eye Handbook
Cloud Nine Development, free
With a pharmacopoeia, equipment reference, testing, coding and media center for patient education, this may become your most frequently used application. There are also excellent in-app purchases to add, such as information for multifocal IOLs, punctal plugs and uveitis. In short, this is a versatile and comprehensive addition to your O.D. smart device.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android.
End of Time Studios, free
The largest social network for eye care professionals is now at your fingertips. is open to all optometrists, ophthalmologists, licensed opticians and students. Included in this forum are clinical and practice management tips, an online marketplace, and informative web seminars.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Epocrates Inc., free
This application is currently the number one mobile drug reference among physicians in the United States. It offers quick access to reliable drug, disease and diagnostic information when you need it. Included is free clinical information on thousands of prescription and generic drugs, a pill identifier, drug interaction information and current medical news.

An in-app purchase of a premium package adds ICD-9 codes, a medical dictionary, treatment guidelines, and more. You’ll need an account with Epocrates to use this app, which can be created at
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android.

Diagnosaurus DDx

Take retinal images using the iExaminer app, the camera on your iPhone and mounting hardware.

Unbound Medicine, $0.99

Do you need a differential diagnosis for that red eye or atypical conjunctivitis? Diagnosaurus DDx helps health care professionals do so with speed and confidence at the point of care. Quickly search more than 1,000 diagnoses by organ system, symptom or disease. Specific searches can be bookmarked for fast retrieval in the future.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and all Windows phone devices. 

Intuitive Medical Technologies, free
Optimized for use with iExaminer hardware (available at, this is the first and only app that allows imaging of the retina using the camera on your iPhone. iExaminer adapts the iPhone 4 to the Welch Allyn PanOptic for high-resolution fundus photos. It can also record simultaneous video. It’s a fundus camera that’s as portable and as easy to use as your iPhone.
     Compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Ms. Paniccia is a third-year student at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry. She has no financial interests in any of the applications mentioned in this article.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Apple Inc., Google Inc., or their affiliates. Users of these applications should not rely solely on them in diagnosing or treating a condition.

A shorter version of this article appeared previously on