How To: Filter, Tag and Discover in MDCalc iOS

See Part 1: How to: Search and Tag in MDCalc iOS for search beginners!

As MDCalc has grown, it’s become more and more unwieldy to simply “list all the equations on the site.” I mean, yes, we do offer a listing A-Z but it’s less and less useful to find something alphabetically now that we’re up to ≥175 equations. A couple solutions we’ve tried:

  1. Specialty and system categories were our first way of trying to organize all this information, but this is problematic as well, for a couple reasons:
    What if you work in several specialties?
  2. What category do some of the disease calculators go into? Is a PE a cardiac phenomenon? A pulmonary one or a vascular one? Or maybe it’s a hematologic process? Or is it better for intensivists and hospitalists and emergency physicians to know about? But let’s not forget primary care, including family and internal medicine and OB-Gyn — they see plenty of patients with chest pain or unexplained shortness of breath. (Right now our policy is to try to find some “happy-medium” so that equations are categorized in the most common speciality and system categories, but not all of them. Please contact us if we’re missing any categories you’d like us to add or link up to a particular equation.)
  3. Some disease entities, medical problems, or clinical calculators don’t really fit into any system well. Where the heck does maintenance fluid rate go? Or mean arterial pressure?

So for our app we’ve developed a new system to help you, our over-worked, stressed, and under-appreciated users find what they’re looking for, as well as discover new related equations they might not be fully aware of or that we’ve recently added to the site.

You’re probably already familiar with “filters” if you’ve ever used shopping sites like Amazon or travel sites like Kayak. They allow you to “filter in” or “filter out” certain information to help you hone in what you’re looking for. Only “Non-stop” flights from “ORD” on “United.”

We’ve done the same, and incorporated tags into every calculator. You can think of tags as ways to filter equations. Currently you can filter using tags by these criteria:

  • Disease
  • Chief Complaint
  • Calculator Purpose (Diagnosis, Prognosis

And here’s an example of our filters in action:

Some filters we wanted to be even easier to access — like disease names, for example. So you’ll notice that filters will pop-up automatically below your search term. Click them to quickly activate a tag and “lock-in” certain tags.
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Finally, we’re always trying to spread the gospel about helpful decision aids and calculators, so that people can Discover new equations as well. Turns out you don’t even need to enter a search term — you can just look for diseases or chief complaints and search by those alone!