The CDC goes mobile, releases a great public health app for your patients

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Purpose of App Review

As an obstetrician/gynecology resident, I use information provided on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

The CDC developed the CDC app, available for free, with a public health focus – its most recent version updated in September 2012.

This review is from the perspective of a health care provider for patient care management, as well as for a resource to which to refer my patients.

 

 

Introduction

The CDC app states it provides “public 24/7 access to important and timely health information that people can use to protect their lives and loved ones.”

With this in mind, the CDC app focuses on public health information aimed at the general public, rather than medical providers. The app offers a variety of resources on a broad range of health and public health topics, making it suitable for a diverse audience.

User Interface

The user interface of the CDC app is straightforward and easy to navigate.

A current issue with the app, however, is the sections are not labeled correctly. You have to select the particular section to determine what its resources are. The home screen offers a number of features, taking up two pages through which the user navigates.

From the home screen, you can access the newest health articles from the CDC, disease of the week topics, articles from CDC’s Vital Signs publications and the Preventing Chronic Disease and Emerging Infectious Disease Journals.

You can also access Morbidity and Mortality Reports updates, news room press releases, CDC podcasts, an image library (of diseases and activities of the CDC), Public Health Matters articles, CDC You Tube station, CDC Facebook, and CDC Twitter.



Depending on which one you choose, there is reading material, videos, podcasts, or interactive information features. Each section offers easy navigation.

If you can’t find exactly what you need, you go to the CDC website by tapping the CDC logo at the top of any of the home pages.


The bottom of the page streams various “Did You Know?” facts. By tapping the banner, you can then go to the actual CDC webpage of “Did You Know?” facts.

Evidence to support use

  • References are generally provided for more scientific-based articles and content – for example, the Emerging Infectious Diseases articles is a journal article with full references listed.

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Direct link to CDC Website
  • Variety of information available (as well as variety of presentation styles)
  • Medical information made understandable to a wide variety of readers
  • Number of different CDC resources provided in one setting

Dislikes

  • Less availability of resources for providers (with no current separate app for them)
  • No section on travel health, immunizations (also no app available)
  • Current labeling issue for sections
  • No settings features

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Providers from many fields, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health and many more can benefit for the resource. The use for clinical management information is limited, but can be a useful resource to which to refer patients.
  • This is especially relevant for those interested in public and community health.

Patients that may benefit from app

  • The general public can benefit from this app. The interactive features, multiple presentation formats, referenced resources and thoughtful presentation make this app a reliable and fun app for patients.
  • I would feel comfortable recommending this app to my patients – a particularly useful referral for my patients would be for info on breast cancer.

Conclusions

  • I had been looking for very specific features in the CDC app – immunization descriptions, travel health resources, and rare infectious disease management guidelines.  I did not find any of these in the app, but what I did find makes this an app that will find a permanent place on my iPad as a useful public health resource. The variety of information and its presentation makes this a great app for my patients as well to learn more about health and particular diseases.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

 

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 4.1
1. User Interface – 4.25 – easy to use lay-out
2. Multimedia usage – 4.25 – multiple formats used, as well as aesthetically pleasing
3. Price – 5 – available for free
4. Real world applicability – 3 – not as relevant for providers in public health settings

 

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

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