By: Jay Agarwal
Purpose of App Review
- How useful is this app in helping medical care providers with quick, evidence based information to treat the behavioral symptoms of dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome that affects millions of patients throughout the world and impacts various aspects of their live — especially their families lives.
With the increasing age of our population, it becomes even more important for medical care providers to understand the best way to treat patients with dementia.
A multidisciplinary team from the University of Illinois released an app called Evidence Based Treatment of Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia to give medical providers a portable evidence-based algorithm to help treat patients with dementia.This app includes extensive information on treating patients with dementia from first assessing them for a dementia diagnosis to pharmacological, environmental and behavioral interventions.
The app first opens with four options. These options can be thought of as starting points to begin the algorithm. Clicking on one of the starting point options starts a step-by-step guide that a medical care provider would use when presented with a patient with dementia. However, it should be noted that the first three of the four options all lead to the same starting point.
The main screen also has an option to view a simplified map of the full algorithm which is very helpful for quick reference. Clicking on a portion of the full map takes you directly to that part of the algorithm.
However, it would be better if the option to view the full algorithm was an option along the black strip at the bottom to allow easier access.
Once the algorithm is started, a series of questions related to assessing and treating a patient with dementia are presented. For example, the first questions asks if a diagnosis of dementia is confirmed with the options of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. There is also a red link that opens in-app containing information on how to assess for dementia.
Once this step is completed, and ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is selected, the next step is presented and the process is continued until a treatment plan is determined.
One of the better things about this app are the red in-app links to the guidelines. These guidelines contain extensive information and each has footnotes with references. This is very important to assure credibility for the guidelines. Each of these references also has a hyperlink that opens up in a browser for easy access.
The app also has an option to scroll through the guidelines without having to go through the step-by-step algorithm if you just want to look up particular information quickly.
It would be better if there was also a search option since the guidelines are long to scroll through on a phone. It could also be useful if there was a PDF or downloadable version of the algorithm and guideline so that they could be looked at on a computer or printed.
One of the main suggestions I would make to the developers would be to switch the location of the red “Back” arrow for the arrow at the top that says “Start” in the algorithm section since I kept accidentally pressing “Start” when I actually wanted to just go back a step. Also, the slider would be more useful if instead of saying “skip to step 14” it gave the title of the step.
- Guidelines include tons of valuable information.
- Each guideline is cited with references. All of the references have hyperlinks that open up in a browser.
- Full map of algorithm makes it easier to get a big picture of the guideline.
- Contact page with email address to give feedback and suggestions.
- Navigation buttons could be improved to make use easier.
- There is no version of the algorithm that can be downloaded.
- There is no search option to go back to or find information.
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Any healthcare provider that is involved in the care or patients with dementia
- The app provides medical care providers a useful resource that can be used as a guide while taking care of patients with the behavioral symptoms of dementia.
- The app also has cited references that can be looked up for more information directly from the app.
Rating: (1 to 5 stars)
Overall: 3.8 Stars.
1. User Interface 2.5/5 Stars. Very simple app but navigating within the app could be improved.
2. Multimedia usage N/a
3. Price 5/5 Stars. Free.
4. Real world applicability 4/5 Stars. This app would be used by healthcare providers that take care of patients with dementia. It can definitely be a great resource for them as a quick reference tool at the point of care when needed
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, iPod touch 3rd, 4th and 5th generation and the iPad
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Tested on: iPhone 4
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.