by Surinder Yadav MD
The Parents Diagnostic Aid provides a quick and easy layman’s medical insight into a few common problems in children. It is primarily designed to allow concerned parents to quickly gauge the seriousness of their child’s illness whilst ensuring that the attending physician does not miss crucial questions or misdiagnose.
The app is very easy to navigate and has 3 main headings on the home screen.
The buttons that appear on the home screen allows you to drill down into 13 common problems.
Drilling down into fever as a symptom, for example, or any of the symptoms, brings up some basic information about that symptom with the ability to do three things; You can navigate to diagnosis, see some exams/tests and recommended treatment of the symptom.
However, the details are limited to the basic information about the particular diagnosis whether it is fever or abdominal pain. One thing to note is that it is a little heavy handed in terms of medical lingo. I would be surprised if many parents had any idea what Kawasakis disease is.
Drilling into diagnosis and treatment also provides some very basic information and suggestions of what the standard of care may be. The information is not very specific for any particular type of problem and provides some oversight.
There is a button that asks if you want to know more? Clicking on it opens up another window that asks if you want more action for the symptom for e.g., for fever.
The details takes you back to symptoms details view with the ability to look at diagnosis, exam and treatment. The diagnosis section is a series of question related to that particular symptom.
Clicking on the question gives brief instructions as to what you should do, such as for severe abdominal pain. In any case or question that suggested increased severity of illness, instructions were given to go to the ER. I have concerns that this type of information that can be confusing and a little heavy-handed.
Despite that, the association with what is severe and requires immediate attention is missing, such as stating that chest pain and injury could be due to cardiac tamponade yet no reference is made to the fact that this could be a life threatening injury – there are several examples like that. So, there should be a great deal of reservation around this type of information being shared openly without some clear guidance or clear references.
I would be inclined to say that at best it is a tool that should be used with a “pinch of salt”, it may help parents ask some informed questions when they do see their physician.
- Provides some basic information about common issues with kids
- Easy to use and navigate
- Can help ask the right types of questions for parents
- Too heavy in medical lingo and limited in terms of information
- Poor communication integration and no other tools to provide research or reference if you really want to explore a topic further
- No links to hospital websites or physician group sites
- No priority in terms of seriousness of conditions
- Overall information is basic (although heavy handed in some medical lingo).
- Although, if a parent has a sick child and doesn’t know what to do, an app like this that just has some basic information may be helpful in asking the right types of questions.
- It should be used just as a brief reference tool for educating parents on what the right questions to ask are. It also helps guide them on when they should speak to a medical provider.