AUA 2022: Panel Discussion: Uses of Apps in Urology: Clinic Visits, Inpatient, Office-based Procedures, Independent Practice

( The 2022 American Urological Association Annual Meeting included a panel discussion on the use of applications in clinical practice. As technology becomes increasingly prevalent in our world today, its relevance to medicine only increases as well. Therefore, as urologists, it is critical to stay up to date on the latest advancements and how to integrate them into patient care. The panelists discussed how apps, both in mobile forms and other forms, have evolved over the years and how providers can leverage them for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of patients.

To open this conversation, Dr. Kyle Richards from the University of Wisconsin gave a fantastic introduction outlining the use of medical software apps and their purpose. According to Dr. Richards, whether they’re on your phone or tablet, apps accomplish a very specific goal or function. Apps are intended to help healthcare providers in doing their job by increasing efficiency with an emphasis on convenience and user-friendly interface. They can fit many different situations, such as when seeing patients in the office to share information or for knowledge bases to assist in clinical decision making. Dr. Richards took care to note that “everyone in the room has a small computer in their pocket” and the significance of that technological power. Out of the multitude of apps available for download, a few hundred are catered toward healthcare providers and patients. Therefore, the challenge doesn’t stem from the lack of tools, but rather from choosing which apps to use. Seeking to answer this question, Dr. Richards set some guidelines for evaluating the quality of medical software apps. He states that they should be enhancing one’s clinical practice, quality of care, and research. A couple of interesting examples of apps that were mentioned for the enhancement of quality of care were the “AUA Guidelines at a Glance” application by the American Urological Association and “Medscape” by WebMD. For the enhancement of research, Twitter was mentioned as a useful place to share current ideas, as well as BrowZine, which simplifies academic journals and makes them more convenient to read. At the end of his discussion, Dr. Richards reiterated that while there are challenges in adopting apps, vetting them to ensure high quality is essential.


Going further in depth and explaining specific applications, Dr. Stacy Loeb from New York University summarized what she finds particularly useful for doctors and patients. In her own clinical practice, Dr. Loeb states that the app she uses the most is Epic Haiku. Because of the Epic electronic medical records software, this app serves as a perfect companion to enhance efficiency. Due to the rise of telemedicine in recent years, the app proves very useful for conducting telemedicine visits. Another app that she highlights is Doximity, which allows providers to contact patients in a secure fashion while routing further communications to the office. Additionally, the app allows users to read scientific articles which are applicable toward continuing medical education credits. Dr. Loeb also chose to discuss the music streaming platform Spotify for creating OR playlists and listening to urology-related podcasts. As Dr. Loeb’s personal favorite, social media apps are very useful for urologists to network with colleagues, find professional opportunities, and to promote one’s practice.


With regards to patients, apps are very widely used in the population with about 44% of adults using healthcare-related apps in the US. One app that Dr. Loeb’s patients love is GoodRx, which helps patients find medications they need at affordable prices. With strong relevance to urology, proudP is an innovative app that “listens to you pee” and generates a uroflow to supplement in-office procedures.


At the end of her section, Dr. Loeb mention the utility of social media for patients but warns against the dangers of “fake news” on social media. She remarked that it is the responsibility of providers to direct patients to reputable sources for health information. To conclude, Dr. Loeb states: “apps are really useful for urologists, trainees, and patients because they are providing new ways to connect with each other, share education, and overall offers functionality that we never had before”.

The final speaker, Dr. Matthew Resnick from Vanderbilt University, begins his discussion by proposing two specific questions: can technology help us conduct research more efficiently and can technology help us consistently deliver high quality care? Dr. Resnick emphasizes the fact that different applications have differentiating features with associated strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is important to use one’s judgement and choose tools that work well in the given “research ecosystem”. He chose to mention Google Suite and Dropbox as strong choices for seamless document sharing and collaboration. Dr. Resnick also suggests that patients are increasingly becoming receptive to technology in medicine and are trying to engage in leveraging technology for their care. With the help of apps, patients can perform self-assessments and keep records such as bladder journals. This builds on the idea of personalization by incorporating data into clinical decision making and facilitating discussions between provider and patient.


Later, Dr. Resnick talks about the need to create a balance between “having 10 screens open in clinic with all different applications” and not using technology enough. To summarize his discussion, Dr. Resnick concludes that technology does help deliver high quality care, but there is more work to do to determine how best to manage information and how to leverage tools in ways that improve workflow.

Presented by: Kyle A. Richards MD, FACS, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin, Stacy Loeb, MD, MSc, PhD, Professor of Urology and Population Health, New York University School of Medicine and Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Matthew Resnick, MD, MPH, MMHC, Assistant Professor of Urologic Surgery and Health Policy, Vanderbilt University

Written by: Kelvin Vo, Department of Urology, University of California Irvine, @kelvinvouci on Twitter during the 2022 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, Fri, May 13 – Mon, May 16, 2022.