By: PJ Lally MD
I have been waiting for a medical app like this.
As a primary care physician it can be difficult to objectively monitor your patient’s psychiatric progress.
Much of the evolution in care in diseases such as depression, anxiety, and dementia are, and should be, subjective and qualitative.
However, there is an important place for quantitative information as well. Forms such as the PHQ9 and GAD7 create an objective story alongside the qualitative story. Currently, these forms are laminated or sitting in file cabinets throughout the country and are filled in daily by patients and then entered into charts.
I, and others I am sure, have dreamed of paperless and streamlined versions of this exchange.
Psych forms on demand has started to bridge the gap. The author, Dr Lemley, a psychiatry resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School, has built a user friendly iPhone medical app for more than 20 commonly used psychiatric forms. It is the beginning of a QXCalculate for psychiatric and primary care physicians, mid-level providers, and residents.
The design is simple and easy to navigate- the bottom navigation bar allows you to find the forms either by category or name. It also allows you to mark favorites which will be nice once the application has more forms (I hope).
It is also easy to fill in forms with two basic formats. The first type has a pop up scale for each question (shown below used in the PHQ 9 form). The second is a simple checklist (shown below in the geriatric depression scale).
Evidence to support use
- Psych on demand offers evidenced based forms that can be further researched as needed. While it is not in the breadth of this article to address this issue for each form, it is an important piece of information to know if you are going to use this medical app in clinical practice.
- This is the second medical application that I have found to enter the medical app market under the category of forms that monitor and diagnose psychiatric conditions. While the other has different features beyond forms, Psych on demand has an easier user interface.
- I appreciate the ability to email the forms from within the application. This allows providers to make a written copy of the form output to either give the patient or copy in the EHR. This could also allow the patient to fill out a form and email the provider the results from a distance.
- I have not researched which forms are copyrighted; however, there are additional forms I would like to see added to this medical application.
- Under the category of ADHD, for instance, the Connors form is copyrighted but the Vanderbilt is not. Under geriatrics there are additional useful forms for dementia such as the MoCA.
- Although it might be difficult to achieve for certain forms, enhanced compatibility with the iPhone’s guided access function would allow providers to essentially share their iPhone with a patient and get results without compromising their phone. The Edinburgh postpartum depression scale, for instance, is supposed to be filled out by the patient without interference as that is how it was researched and built. The current application works under guided access if the questions are a checklist but not if they are a pop up. Hence, guided access works for the geriatric depression scale but not for the PHQ9.
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Physicians, residents, mid-levels working in the field of primary care or psychiatry
Patients that may benefit from app
- If given the information to understand the output of these resources it could work for any patients being treated for these conditions. If connected with the app, patients could fill in the form and email their provider the results after treatment and between appointments.
- Psych on demand is the first medical app that cleanly concentrates on psychiatric forms. It has an easy to use interface and the price is very reasonable. I would like to see additional forms added with time and maybe even the ability to add or suggest your own forms. As of publish there is no Android version available.
Type of Device used to review app–iPhone 5
Rating: 4 Stars
1. User Interface: 5 stars- easy peasy
2. Multimedia usage: 3 stars- no flaws but not earth shattering
3. Price: 5 stars- one dollar is like a small thank you for your time to our colleague developers
4. Real world applicability: 4 stars- if developer keeps adding forms I’d give it a five
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 health care.