ACLS Review App can help you master algorithms, prepare for ACLS Certification [App Review]

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a critical aspect of medical care, yet can intimidate many physicians-in-training. Whether in code situations for surgical inpatients, new arrivals to the emergency department, or even fellow passengers at an airport, mastery of ACLS algorithms is vital for all healthcare professionals, and can mean the difference between life and death.

In the past, we have explored how the use of mobile medical technology by healthcare professionals may improve outcomes in these situations. Specifically, we have discussed how a randomized control trial suggested that the iResus app, developed by the European Resuscitation Council, enhanced the performance of ACLS-certified physicians in simulated cardiac arrests.

Of course, the first half of the equation—obtaining ACLS certification—is a prerequisite for actually carrying out ACLS algorithms. Most physicians & paramedics and many nurses are required to obtain ACLS certification, the guidelines of which are set by the American Heart Association or the European Resuscitation Council. The ACLS Review app from Limmer Creative seeks to “help students pass the test.” Limmer Creative, founded by paramedic and EMS veteran Dan Limmer, has developed review products that include several other mobile apps, including Paramedic Review and EMT Review.

Read below the jump to learn how ACLS Review can help you master ACLS algorithms.


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The ACLS Review home screen opens with links to each of the 4 Exams that compose the app, as well as tabs along the bottom bar for “Follow Us,” “History,” “About,” and “Settings.”

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The “Follow Us” tab offers online, Twitter, and Facebook links to the developer, Limmer Creative.

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The “Settings” tab allows for resetting the history, and clearing all completed questions and tests. On reset, the various questions within a particular exam are randomized when re-taking that exam.

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Now onto the actual exam questions. We begin with a question asking users to recognize a rhythm depicted by a rhythm strip:

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Unlike the previously reviewed Arrhythmias App, this app allows for zooming into rhythm strips, and panning along the strip, a nice feature.

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The questions are multiple-choice, allowing for the selection and submission of an answer.

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Each of the questions in the app’s exams include a well-written rationale for the correct answer. Another nice feature is that the question itself is also accessible above the rationale screen, allowing for quick recall or review of the question and/or rhythm strip.

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The questions are not limited to recognition of different rhythms, but also include questions on management per the ACLS algorithms.

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The “Test History” tab from the bottom index bar of the home screen displays the user’s performance and progress completing the exams, as well as an option to email results.

It is important to note that the questions included in the app are based on the 2010 American Heart Association ACLS guidelines, and, at least on quick review, appear to be high-quality and without errors.

Price:

  • The ACLS Review App by Limmer Creative costs $3.99 at the iTunes app store.

Likes:

  • User-friendly interface, good use of images (rhythm strips)
  • High-quality content in the form of interactive quizzes
  • Based on the 2010 American Heart Association guidelines

Dislikes:

  • Only 4 quizzes of 25 questions each– would be nice to have even more!
  • Of course, this app helps prepare users for ACLS certification, but does not offer assistance when actually carrying out ACLS algorithms (like iResus)

Summary:

  • The ACLS Review App by Limmer Creative offers high-quality quizzes based on the current AHA guidelines for the review of ACLS algorithms, representing a valuable resource for healthcare professionals –including paramedics, medical students, physicians, and nurses– looking to master and/or acquire certification in ACLS.
  • Once certified, this app also represents a great refresher, but we also recommend users complement this app with iResus for assistance when practicing or executing ACLS algorithms.

Author:

Amit Patel, MD

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One Response to ACLS Review App can help you master algorithms, prepare for ACLS Certification [App Review]

  1. Minda Ratliff November 30, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    My app does not work? I’m running IOS 6.0.1

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