PediDoser, developed by MeisterMed and priced at $2.99 (“limited time only”), claims to be a fast and easy-to-use pediatric medication dosing tool. Since I was about to begin my outpatient peds rotation, I was really excited the new version (1.2) became available and figured I’d give the app a good run for its money. Currently, it’s ranked 17th in the top paid Medical apps category. I’m a bit surprised by this ranking, as you’ll see in the following review.

For me to spend money on a medical application, I feel it should do two basic things.  One, it needs to provide me a useful service. This app aims to do this by answering my medication and dosage questions when I’m working with a healthcare population I’m not extremely familiar with, pediatrics. Two, it needs to be easy to navigate through so I’m able to use it in a busy healthcare setting. Unfortunately, this is where this app and I disagreed.

When the app starts, it gives you the option of searching by name or by class. Suppose you choose by name. You are then greeted by an alphabetized list of medications as well as quick links at the top of the page to 10 sections of the alphabet. In theory this sounds great, but there is no easy way to just scroll to a portion of the alphabet, as you can do with your iPhone contacts. In fact, if you scroll down to say, Miralax, but you accidently tap on “Mineral Oil” (located right above it) and then tap the “back” button, you start right back at the top of the page. To make it worse, the back button doesn’t seem intuitively placed. It took me two weeks to realize a back button existed, it’s a left turn arrow at the bottom right of the screen. I expected a more intuitive button on the top left that said “back”, similar to what you’d find in Epocrates or Medscape Mobile.

Additionally, I’m not a fan of how the app asks you to input a patient’s weight via a scroll wheel. Although the current way allows you to round dosages easily, I rather type in a number and then let the app calculate the dose. Overall, it’s not easy to navigate. Say I choose a 200mg/5mL solution of Amoxil to prescribe, but once I put in the patient’s weight, I realize it’s too large of a quantity and I should be using something stronger. There’s no easy way to change doses, without backing out 2 steps and then re-scrolling to the weight again.

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Overall, the app doesn’t feel very polished, and navigates like a website / power point presentation. The User Interface definitely needs improvement. To their credit, there is a “search” option that sifts through not only medication names but indications as well. However, the app is just too limited. For example, searching “asthma” pulls up just 4 medications. The application doesn’t even have information on Albuterol or Flovent, the most common asthma meds I’ve used this month. Needless to say, I was turned off of this app after multiple fruitless attempts at looking for a medication that it didn’t have information on (no ADHD medication information in a peds resource? really?). These deficiencies are even more glaring when I can easily find more information faster using a free alternative.

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Should you get it?

No, unless you have 12 quarters in your back pocket that are just keeping you from sitting comfortably. I hate not being able to endorse this product because the concept is great, and I’d like for it to succeed. I would love to see future updates of this App that address its shortcomings, and I’ll be the first to write a review if there are significant improvements. Unfortunately, there are too many higher quality, less expensive (free), and more polished alternatives (MedScape, Epocrates) on the market. If this app was free, I’d say download it and give it a try. Sadly, in business, if you’re going to charge for something the competition does for free, you’d better be doing a much better job of it, and in this case, the diagnosis is that PediDoser fails to deliver.

[itunes]

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