Purpose of App Review
- to review the usability and features of the Fetal Biometry app
- to review the clinical applicability of the calculations of the Fetal Biometry app
- to explore whether this app would be useful in a resource-limited setting
A few of my previous reviews (Top 10 Pregnancy Wheels, Fetal Weight app) have pined for a true fetal biometry app. As an obstetrician, fetal biometry (fetal body measurements) can form an important part of patient management. Formal ultrasounds, attached to nifty software programs, take the technician’s measurements and make the little centimeter more clinically meaningful.
Sometimes, though, you do not have a nice machine with a nice package and you are the unofficial tech and you need to make a management decision now. The Fetal Biometry app aims to provide meaning to those numbers on the go.
The home screen includes three sections. In order to give the fetal biometry data meaning, the estimate date of delivery (EDD) or the last menstrual period (LMP) need to be set.
Find the “i” icon and you can learn more about the app and access the questions and comments section.
After selecting the LMP or EDC, you then access the Biometrics section. This section is broken up into four primary and twenty-four secondary parameters.
You can then choose a parameter which takes you to a new screen dedicated to that parameter, but similar to all of the parameters.
Taking your data, you then input the millimeter measurement. The stated gestational age in weeks and days is prefilled. The Percentile box and Expected Mean box fill based on the measured value you put in.
If the value falls anywhere below the 15th percentile or above the 95th percentile, the percentile box turns red.
At the bottom of each calculation screen, the formula and standard deviation are listed, as well as the paper from which the calculation came. You can then select the PubMed link to see the abstract in PubMed.
Evidence to support use
- Provided under each result, including link to PubMed!
- Provision of references for every calculation
- Inclusion of inferior vena cava, ductus venosus, and umbilical artery doppler calculations
- Multiple biometric parameter calculators provided
- Ability to open PubMed browser intra-app
- Flagging of abnormal values by background color
- Provision of expected mean; since the app does not back calculate from biometry to suggest a estimated gestational age (EGA), you could then use the mean and the “stated gestational age” to find where your measurement is about average
- Inability to back calculate to EDC
- No “save patient” option
- Cannot see the parameters together (lose the forest for the trees)
- Lack of middle cerebral artery calculations
- Inability to choose the formula used to calculate percentile
- Does not include fluid level assessment
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
Health care providers caring for pregnant women who can do their own ultrasound studies or are within easy access of study results or a qualified ultrasonographer, but not the software.
- The Fetal Biometry app is a useful, easy to use app that provides percentiles for multiple fetal biometric measurements. The app is particular useful if you do not have easy or fast access to obstetric ultrasound software and need to interpret ultrasound findings. I can see myself using this in my global health and resource-limited settings work.
- However, without a feature to calculate EGA, I am not going to throw away percentile fetal growth charts by parameter just yet. This app would not be as useful for those with quick and reliable ultrasound software.
Android Medical App Availability
- The Fetal Biometry app is available on the iPhone, but not Android.
1. User Interface – 4. Home screen and all subsequent screens easy to use. Input boxes easy to identify.
2. Multimedia usage – 2.5. Easy to navigate between screens. No use of video, graphs, or photos. Does not combine data together for you.
3. Price – 3. $9.99 is on the higher end, though not a complete outlier, especially with the more recent apps.
4. Real world applicability – 3.25. Depends on how often you have obstetric patients and your access to formal ultrasound software programming.
App version: 1.0
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. It is not available for the Android platform.
Requires: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Release date: February 28, 2013 Tested on: iPhone 4S
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 healthcare provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or healthcare 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 healthcare provider.