Dr Hussain Gandhi: My top 5 UK primary care clinical apps and websites

In UK primary care we are seeing an increase in both the availability and use of digital resources to help clinicians. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can do amazing things but may be overshadowed by security and moral concerns.

So which resources can be used effectively in primary care? In this article, I will cover my top 5 and why you may want to consider using them..


The British National Formulary is the default resource for prescribing medication. You will likely see copies in most clinical areas in both primary and secondary care. But what is better than a copy of the BNF? Simply, a digital version that is portable and updated automatically.

The app which also includes the children’s version is free to download using an email account. Using a digital interface means you can search the contents quickly and effectively (negating the need for sticky notes) and ensures that you will always have the updated version. The negative aspect of using the app is the large download size that requires WiFi and a little time when an update arrives.

In my view a small price to pay for one of the best clinical resources for UK clinicians, as explained in detail in this episode of the eGPlearning Podblast.

  1. CKS

What the BNF app does for medications, the CKS website does for clinical guidance. There are resources like GP Notebook,, and UpToDate which search multiple guidance repositories, however, for primary care, particularly in England – the NICE guidance is considered the gold standard. CKS presents this information quickly. The website could be structured better and unfortunately, the app is being discontinued, however, for content and access, CKS is a valuable clinical resource.

  1. MDCalc

Many of the clinical systems can support you with clinical calculators to help evaluate risk. However, rarely are they extensive and often are not portable. MDcalc is the best version I have found. It is extensive, easy to use and presents the evidence for each calculator. The app is just as easy to use as the website and a personal recommendation of mine for any clinician. For a full guide see this link.

  1. Labtest Online

If you ever have a pathology result that has confused you, searching for resources to help understand how to manage that result can be challenging. Labtest Online is a collaborative initiative by…..

The website is easy to navigate and can support you in evaluating how to investigate clinical conditions as well as individual clinical tests. If you use SystmOne – then watch this video for a quick hack to use this website even quicker.

  1. ORCHA

What if you want to recommend resources to patients? The variety of health-related apps on offer is astounding. Try ORCHA to help you. The Organisation for Review of Care and Health Applications is equivalent to the BNF of healthcare apps. Their app finder section allows you to search for apps to recommend for clinical use by patients, or you can search an individual app and be presented with a complete evaluation of the safety, use, and governance of the app. This resource provides validation for digital clinical resources at a time when it is sorely needed

If you want to see how to use ORCHA see this page.

There are clearly more apps and systems that may be useful for clinicians. Which are your favourites?