Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Optimized for iPad. Available on the Apple App Store.
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later

Purpose of App Review

To explore the features of Pedi QuikCalc and how this app may be useful to pediatricians, family practitioners, or any physician who takes care of children in their practice.

Introduction

From newborns to adolescents, caring for a pediatric patient is a unique and challenging experience. Pediatricians track their patients’ weights and heights closely to detect any major increases or decreases in growth.

More than in the adult world, the patient’s weight is key to calculation of medication dosages. A patient’s precise age matters, particularly early in life when months, days, or even hours of age can make a difference in assessment and management.

Pedi QuikCalc is a simple app to make all of the above easier. It was created by pediatrician Dr. W. Kent Bonney, and includes features such as an IV fluid calculator, weight-based dosage calculator, BMI-for-age calculator, the ability to plot on CDC or WHO growth charts, and links to helpful resources such as the BiliTool, AAP, and the CDC website.

User Interface

Overall, the app is intuitive and simple to navigate.  There are five main tabs listed at the bottom of the screen: Weight, Drugs, IV, Age, and More.

Let’s start with Weight. The Weight tab allows you to enter an initial patient weight in either pounds or kilograms (the app will auto-convert for you), then enter follow-up weight from a subsequent visit and note various measures of weight change, including how much weight the patient gained or loss, and the percent loss.

On the left side, there is an arrow labeled “slide to estimate”.  By sliding your finger along this bar, the app will display average weights for kids at certain ages.

To thoroughly explore the features of this app, let’s say I am following a 30-month-old boy. When he initially came in for a well-child check at 24 months, I saw that he weighed 11 kg. At his visit today, he weighs 13 kg. I want to enter his past weight and his current weight to see how much he has gained.

To enter a weight in kg, you have to tap “lbs”, and to enter a weight in lbs you have to tap “kg.” This was a little confusing, but was easy enough to figure out. I enter 11 kg under initial patient weight, and the app automatically tells me that is equivalent to 24 lbs, 4 oz.  After entering his follow-up weight from today, 13 kg, I tap calculate:

From here, I can easily see how much he has gained. Under Weight Change, the app tells me he has gained 4 lbs, 6.5 oz, or 2 kg, for an 18.2% increase. This feature would be particularly useful at neonatal checkups to monitor weight loss or gain from birth weight.

The next main tab is Drugs. From this screen you can quickly search for your drug of choice alphabetically. If my 30-month-old patient also had otitis media at this visit and I wanted to give amoxicillin, I could easily find the right dose by tapping its name on the list.

The app means to dose by the weight that was entered in the first section for convenience. Unfortunately, it still uses the initial weight value, not the follow-up weight (today’s weight), which is inappropriate.

I go back to the Weight tab and change the initial weight to 13 kg. Now, it gives me the suggested dose of amoxicillin for a 13 kg child. It also provides additional dosing info at the bottom of the screen for neonates, children, and adults, along with any drug precautions (hepatic, renal, etc.)

If I want to change the strength, formulation, or dose, I can click the calculator icon in the top right hand corner to go to the dosage calculator and adjust for that.

The next section of the app, IV, is simple and self-explanatory. It calculates the IV rates for a patient of a certain weight (in this case the same 13 kg child). It includes the amount to give for a bolus, as well as rates for maintenance, 10% deficit, and 15% deficit. It also can calculate rates for adults.

A handy little feature of the app is the ability to calculate a patient’s age, either by date of birth or time of birth for neonates. The user just has to scroll through and select the patient’s birthday, or date and time of birth, and the app will give the precise age.

Finally, under the More tab, Pedi QuikCalc provides the user with various other resources, including a BP percentile calculator, growth charts, and BiliTool.

It also lists web links to common, reputable resources for physicians such as the AAP, the CDC, Food Allergy Network, and Google Flu Trends.

Price

  • $1.99

Likes

  • Friendly user interface
  • Makes many tedious calculations in pediatrics easier – weight changes, drug dosing, etc.
  • Wide range of functionality useful for pediatric practice
  • Links to useful websites and other calculators
  • Frequently updated

Dislikes

  • App could be improved by allowing weight to be more easily adjusted throughout the app, especially when changing patients. Practitioners must be very careful that they are making calculations using the correct weight.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Medical students, especially on their pediatric clerkship
  • Interns and residents
  • Pediatricians, family practitioners, ER doctors, or any physician that manages children
  • Nurses

Conclusions

This app is a must-have for anyone who sees children in their practice. It simplifies many of the mundane calculations that must be done by a physician and is a great medical reference tool. At $1.99, there is no reason not to pick it up!

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Rating:

  • Overall: 4.5/5 stars
  • User interface: 4/5 stars.
    Easy to navigate and intuitive, there are only a couple things that keep this app from getting the full 5 stars.  The app could be improved by allowing the user to adjust weights in every tab, such as the drug dosing screen (without having to go to the dosage calculator) and the IV tab, which has absolutely nowhere to change the weight value. The weight tab could also use some improvements itself; I often hit the “slide to estimate” arrow unintentionally and had to re-enter my desired weights.
  • Multimedia usage: 4/5 stars.
    It’s a simple app, but the web and calculator links are fantastic features that especially boost the usefulness of the app.
  • Price: 5/5 stars.
    Yes, there are free apps out there, but Pedi QuikCalc has a wide range of functionality, fast access to resources outside the app, and a great user interface. At $1.99, this app is well worth the price.
  • Real world applicability: 5/5 stars.
    Any practitioner who cares for children regularly would find this app helpful.