Purpose of App Review
To evaluate the usefulness of the iOS app Kidometer in everyday clinical practice.
In the pediatric world, what is “normal” for a patient changes with every age.
While a heart rate of 140 might be expected in a healthy newborn, it would be a cause of concern in a resting seventeen-year-old.
This can present challenges to pediatricians who treat patients in all different stages of childhood, as lab reference values and even basic vital signs may be drastically different from one child to the next.
Kidometer, developed by Drs. Joel Topf and Burke Mamlin, is a handy app that brings age-based normal values to the fingertips of practicing physicians. It is currently available for iPhone only, though the developers are working on Android and iPad-optimized versions.
At $4.99, it is affordable for any physician, resident, or student.
Though the app has tremendous utility value, overall, the user interface is just fair. The app broken down into chapters, which are a little vague – what exactly does “labs” or “nutrition” include?
Nevertheless, it is usually pretty easy to find the category that contains your value of interest.
A convenient feature of the app is the ability to change the age of the patient at the bottom of every screen. The age can be changed easily and intuitively either by numerical age in years and months, or by birthdate (month and year).
Sometimes, however, it is tedious to scroll through lists of values. The lab value of interest is easy to miss while rapidly scrolling, and occasionally may not even be included. A search function would improve the user-friendliness of the app (apparently also in the works).
Vaccine information is also provided, but again, the need to scroll through the entire list of vaccines and relevant information for each one is tiresome.
Kidometer has tremendous clinical utility. The convenience of being able to pull up normal reference values for any patient within a few seconds cannot be understated, especially in facilities whose lab reports do not automatically correct reference values for age. Furthermore, the references at the bottom of each screen inspire confidence in the information displayed.
It is important to note that Kidometer is not just a speedy way to obtain normal lab values, it also provides developmental milestones and advice about health maintenance, health promotion, nutrition, and discipline for every age under the “Prevention” chapter, making it an invaluable resource for pediatricians in counseling parents.
- Quick, easy reference values for any age
- Well-rounded resource for pediatricians
- Affordable price
- User interface could use improvement in some areas
- Search function needed (coming soon)
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Any provider that cares for children
- Especially useful for pediatric interns, residents, and medical students
Despite some slight flaws in the current design, this app has so much clinical utility that it should become a staple on every pediatrician’s iPhone. As a fourth-year medical student and aspiring pediatrician, I used it every single day on my clinic rotation and my sub-internship, and attendings and residents were impressed with how fast I could come up with necessary information. Even with the lack of a search function, Kidometer proved way faster than leafing through the latest edition of Harriet Lane (and is less than a tenth of the price of the current app).
Rating: (1 to 5 stars)
- Overall: 4.25 stars
- User Interface: 3 stars This will undoubtedly be improved with the upcoming addition of a search function, but for now, the need to scroll through long lists to find necessary information leaves the UI with room for improvement.
- Multimedia usage: 4 stars This app doesn’t use much multimedia, but it doesn’t need to.
- Price: 5 stars At just $4.99, price is hardly a barrier to purchasing this app, even for the poorest medical student.
- Real world applicability: 5 stars The functions of Kidometer make it perfect for daily use in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.