Medrills apps for iOS and Android teach basic clinical skills to Army Medics

Purpose of App Review

How well do these apps teach users to use hemostatic dressings and monitor IV infusions?

Introduction

The Medrills series is a collection of educational mobile apps by ArchieMD. The apps are made for U.S. Military health care specialists developed in conjunction with DARPA.

These interactive tools focus on visual learning and use extensive 3D graphics.

There are currently eleven Medrills Military applications available, each covering a specific skill set. This review will cover two: Hemostatic Dressing and Manage IV. We recently reviewed Medrills: Army Cricothyroidotomy which proved very popular. Now to see if other apps in the series match up to these expectations.

User Interface

Both apps begin with a short introductory lecture explaining the main concepts for each skill set.

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The user then enters training mode, which consists of a series of questions and activities based on the lectures.

The Hemostatic Dressing objectives are very simple. They are focused on how to identify wounds appropriate for the dressings, recognizing contraindications, and applying the dressings appropriately without contaminating them.

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The Manage IV objectives are much more broad and focused on six main tasks. Therefore, the training series is more extensive.

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The Hemostatic Dressing app training portion ran smoothly, but the Manage IV app had several bugs. For example, sometimes answers to questions would not be displayed.

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Several times I chose the correct answer, but was marked incorrect anyway. The app also had a few activities in which the user must simulate a task, like removing an IV or changing tubing. Most worked well, but the activity involving changing IV tubing didn’t function at all.

Price

  • $3.99
  • Additional $5.99 for “Testing mode” needed for documentation to receive CEH credit for the activity

Likes

  • Excellent integration of 3D graphics
  • Focus on visual, tactile and interactive learning

Dislikes

  • Buggy interface at times

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Military health specialists
  • EMTs and paramedics learning similar tasks

Conclusions

  • These apps do a great job of creating highly visual, interactive learning tools. Though the more complex interface had some bugs, my experience with it was positive overall.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Hemostatic Dressing iTunes Link
Manage IV iTunes Link
Hemostatic Dressing Google Play Link
Mange IV Google Play Link

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars

  • User Interface­-4-Straightforward overall with some bugs.
  • Multimedia usage-5-Excellent graphics.
  • Price-3-Though each app is relatively inexpensive, they have a narrow focus. In­app costs for testing adds an additional $5.99. Purchasing all 11 apps would cost $43.89 with an additional $65.89 for testing and certification.
  • Real world applicability-3-Helpful apps for those learning these basic clinical skills, but no longer relevant after mastering them.

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.

Author:

Shannon McNamara, MD

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