Updated PediQuikCalc app is a great tool for Pediatricians

PediQuikCalc was one of the first pediatric-specific calculator apps for the iPhone when it was introduced in 2011. It had a number of features that made it a useful app for pediatric providers by combining links to other resources, a few key calculators, and a dosing calculator; however it also had a number of frustrating quirks that limited its utility. Now with version 3.0, PediQuikCalc has made impressive improvements from its earlier iteration to become a great point-of-care resource for pediatricians — especially those whose EMRs do not include dosing calculators.

User Interface:
The app has no home page — it either opens to the weight calculator in the iPhone version or the age calculator in the iPad version. On the iPhone, the calculators on the home screen are “weight,” “drugs,” “IV,” and “age,” with the rest of the calculators and resources under “more.” On the iPad, the calculators are listed along the left. The weight calculator converts initial and follow up weights entered in pounds to SI units, with a percent change that is especially useful for tracking newborn weight changes. The initial weight becomes the inputted weight for the growth chart tab but follow-up weight becomes the input for the IV calculator (which calculates a 20cc/kg bolus, maintenance and fluid deficits from being NPO), a quirk that cannot be adjusted in the app without changing the values in the weight tab.


iPhone Initial ScreeniPad Start Page

The drug formulary is limited but includes most of the commonly prescribed medications in pediatrics. The formulary has basic dosing information and precautions including metabolism, lactation and pregnancy precautions. The dosing calculator is easy to use and permits inputting different weights, dosing (both per kg or per kg per day), dosing intervals and formulations. It is easier and more intuitive than the built-in dosing calculator in the Epocrates app.

Dosage Calculator (PediQuikCalc)

 

Does Calculator (Epocrates)Like many other medical calculators, the app contains an age function. What sets it apart from other calculators is under the “more” tab, where users find a number of pediatric specific calculators. The app has a built-in bilirubin calculator for calculating risk levels for neonatal bilirubin, and rotating to landscape mode plots the results on the familiar Bhutani normogram.

Bill ToolBili Tool Normogram

The app also includes a BMI and BP calculators that list percentiles based on age and height.  There is also a growth chart calculator; since it only plots one weight and height, it lacks the ability to track trends overtime or view percentiles for weight or height. There is also a useful “mid-parental height” calculator. Other resources include a list of topical steroid strengths, PDFs of immunization schedules, and links to useful websites like the CDC weekly flu tracker.BP Percentiles

The app is universal and has the flat iOS 7 format. The formulary does not update automatically — users have to manually update the formulary.

Evidence to support app use:
The app draws information from a number of sources. The drug formulary lists information from product inserts, Lexi-Drugs, Harriet Lane Handbook and Nelson’s Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy. The plethora of sources however does make it harder to confirm dosing information. There is no source listed for the Bili calculator but the results are identical to bilitool.org’s results, which are based on the AAP’s Hour-Specific Normogram for Risk Stratification for neonatal bilirubin. There is no mention, however, of any quality control testing — neither in the app or on the website, which would be helpful to increase reliability of the app.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

Clinicians who care for children, especially those whose EMRs do not include drug dosing calculators.

Patients that may benefit from app
This app is not intended for patients.

  • Price
    • $1.99
    • Number of pediatric specific calculators not easily available elsewhere
    • Easy-to-use format
    • Dosing calculator that is very child (i.e., liquid dosing) friendly
  • Dislikes
    • No way to save preferred drugs
    • Cannot adjust weight in IV fluids calculator
    • BP and BMI scales are purely in visual format, without giving you a precise value
  • Overall

    Pedi QuikCalc has significantly improved since its initial release. It has integrated a number of key tools, such as a bilirubin checker, that expand on its core offering. The biggest improvement in the app is the fixed dosing calculator, moving Pedi QuikCalc from a nice app to a near must-have, especially for those without dosing calculators built into ePrescribing systems.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to Use

  • Multimedia Usage
    • N/A
  • Price

    Affordable, one price for all iOS devices

  • Real World Applicability

    Easy to integrate into daily provider workflow

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 5

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad

Author:

Eli Sprecher, MD MPP

Eli Sprecher is a primary care pediatrician Boston Children’s Hospital, where he has worked leading clinical innovation initiatives as an active member of its primary care Clinical Redesign Committee and co-founder of his residency's Innovation Academy. He received his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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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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