Mobile diabetes guide from Johns Hopkins helps doctors practice evidence-based medicine

Statistics from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (link here) show that the prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. is 8.3% or 25.8 million people. In 2007, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. alone reached $174 billion. It is clear that diabetes is a major healthcare issue in modern medicine. On the basis of this, it is important that healthcare professionals are well informed about diabetes and its potential complications as it will have a significant impact on future practice. This is where the Johns Hopkins POC-IT Guide to Diabetes becomes invaluable.

The POC-IT guide is a universal app which can be accessed on the iPad or iPhone. It is developed by Unbound Medicine in cooperation with clinicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine and is part of the POC-IT series, which includes antibiotic and HIV guides . The Diabetes Guide is designed to assist clinicians by distilling complex material into need-to-know information, easily accessible for rapid viewing and which can be frequently updated.
First impressions of the guide are good, as information is laid out in a clear pattern that allows the user to easily access the information they require. Initially users must choose from a menu of: overview, management, complications & comorbidities, medications, clinical tests and brand names.

 

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Within each heading lie a number of sub-headings that cover clinically relevant aspects of diabetes. The content in each article is laid out in a consistent manner between sections covering: Definition, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Signs & Symptoms, Clinical Treatment, Follow Up, Expert Comments, References.

Articles can be saved as favourites for quick access from the title page. It should be noted that all the information is stored locally on the device. The next section covers a brief summary of the main content covered by each of the major headings.

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Overview

This section offers a detailed overview of the main features of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This includes classification and diagnosis of diabetes as well as important epidemiological data. This information is backed up by relevant studies examining the effectiveness and efficiency of therapies as well as management of complications and prevention techniques.

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Management

The management section offers information related to a wide range of relevant topics, each of which is further broken down into smaller sub units. Each sub unit is typically focused on a very specific aspect of diabetes management eg. Hypoglycemia: Nocturnal. There is a strong focus on the clinical aspects of each condition which is ideal for healthcare professionals.

 

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Complications and Comorbidities

A wide range of complications and comorbidities are described in the app. Information on the epidemiology and its direct relation to diabetes is given for each complication. Signs and symptoms, clinical tests and diagnostic criteria are covered. A particularly useful section is the ‘Expert Comments’ section – where content is primarily chosen on the basis of clinical relevance with important information displayed in a clear bullet point format.

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Clinical Tests

The clinical tests mentioned in this section are described in extensive detail. This information allows clinicians to quickly evaluate which tests need to be carried out in order to assess the management needs of their patient. The differential diagnosis section is particularly useful to assess complications that may have arisen as a result of diabetes.

IMG 9 Take 2Medications/Brand Names

The content of this section is related to medication used to treat specific symptoms of diabetes. Information is well laid out and contains details related to all the major pharmaceutical brands. This section covers all the major medications used in the treatment of various aspects of diabetes. The information on each medication is detailed and useful as you can quickly check dosages and any contraindications.

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CME

The POC-IT Center also integrates Continuing Medical Education programs into Guides. These opportunities allow clinicians to learn while acquiring CME credit in the context of actual patient care. Accredited by Johns Hopkins Office of CME, these education materials qualify for quarter-hour and one-hour credits AACME credits.

In summary it should be noted that this is a universal app which can be accessed on the iPad or iPhone which allows it to be used efficiently and quickly. Furthermore it has a well thought out design and polish. This ensures that the user will always have easy access to information.

Likes

  • Expert comments break down intricate topics into manageable points
  • Very detailed and concise; ideal to quickly cover all the important clinically relevant information regarding a specific aspect of Diabetes
  • Universal App; well formatted and easy to use on an iPad or iPhone
  • Intuitive user interface makes the POC-IT guide quick to use and easy to follow
  • Content is automatically updated by Johns Hopkins therefore information is always up to date.
  • This is an evidence based app with clear, well referenced sources used throughout.

Dislikes

  • Expensive (usually $39.95)
  • Only three POC-IT guides available (Diabetes, HIV, ABX guide)

Overall Rating

  • I would highly recommend this app to any physician who encounters and treats diabetes on a regular basis.
  • Its high level of detail is useful to anyone trying to improve their understanding of the clinical aspects and treatment options of various diabetic conditions.
  • The high cost of the app combined with it’s specific focus on diabetes means that it may not cater to everyone.
  • Despite this, the Johns Hopkins diabetes guide is a complete, easy to use mobile application that covers the majority of the clinical aspects and associated complications in great depth

iTunes link here

Author:

Tom Lewis

Editor, iMedicalApps.com

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