American Heart Association’s free stroke recognition app is critical for patients and families to download

Stroke identification can often be difficult for caregivers and family members when faced with a loved one who starts to develop acute symptoms. Often times, something is wrong, and no one is sure why. The American Heart Association (AHA) has for years been trying to bring awareness to the tell tale signs and symptoms of a stroke, and has recently moved to mobile to bring their message.

User Interface

Their app promulgates their pneumonic FAST (Face/Arm/Speech/Time), and gives details on what to look for in a patient. This includes questions to ask the patient, such as repeat a simple sentence like “the sky is blue.” The app also includes a quick rundown of signs and symptoms with a 30 second video built in.

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The app also has other helpful resources built in, such as details on other stroke symptoms, facts, and nearby hospitals.

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Perhaps the one defining feature is the built in mechanism for the user to call 911. Coupled with this built in feature is a mechanic to then timestamp via the app when the call was made. This is important for clinicians managing a stroke as it can help identify what treatments are viable, such as the administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 3 hours of the onset of a stroke.

This feature alone makes this app a must have for family members of patient’s who are at high risk of stroke or have had one prior.  Knowing exact time of onset can significantly change the type of treatment delivered for stroke.

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  • Price
    • Free
    • The app is simple and very straightforward and will be beneficial for caregivers of those at high risk for a stroke or patients who have previously had a stroke.
    • Timestamp mechanism is a very valuable tool within the app.
    • Available for Android.
  • Dislikes
    • Navigation could be improved, as often the user has to hit ‘back’ to get to the menu again and no simple home button is present.
  • Overall

    We applaud the American Heart Association(AHA) and the American Stroke Association(ASA) for the work put into this health app.  The features of time stamping when stroke symptoms occur and making the 911 call available within the app are simple yet powerful tools that have the potential to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality in stroke patients.  These are tools that otherwise would not be possible without mobile apps, and to see such a simple yet powerful app come together from the AHA and ASA makes us proud at iMedicalApps — we’ve come a long way in regards to mobile apps and their utility for patient care.

    This is a must have app for providers to recommend to their patient’s at risk of stroke, and their accompany family members.  For patient’s who are getting stroke education after recently having a stroke, hospitals should consider making this part of their education prior to discharge.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Quick and easy use, but could benefit from other ways to modify navigation

  • Multimedia Usage

    Great use of maps to identify nearby hospitals and video instructions

  • Price

    It’s free

  • Real World Applicability
  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 5S

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhone

Authors:

Timothy Aungst, PharmD

Digital Pharmacist seeking to integrate technology and mHealth into pharmacy practice and patient care. Assistant Professor by day, blogger and writer by night.

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Iltifat Husain, MD

Founder, Editor-in-Chief of iMedicalApps.com. Emergency Medicine Faculty and Director of Mobile App curriculum at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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3 Responses to American Heart Association’s free stroke recognition app is critical for patients and families to download

  1. drrjv September 20, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Links would be nice!

    Here it is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spot-a-stroke-f.a.s.t./id594995265?mt=8

    • Iltifat Husain, MD September 21, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      review tag wasn’t displayed correctly for this post — it’s updated — should work now, check it out. thanks for letting us know!

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