Purpose of App Review
- To assess how utility of this app for teaching children and teenagers about asthma.
Kids Beating Asthma was created by Pediatric Services at Hospital Universitario San Carlos (HCSC) de Madrid (Spain).
It was designed to help children under 12 years old as well as teenagers with asthma learn about their condition. The app was made to teach children what asthma is and how to live with it – in an interactive and fun way.
This app starts off by giving the option to choose a language, Spanish or English. This is followed by an option to select your age, either “Under 12 years old” or “Teenagers”.
However, the “Teenagers” option results in a “coming soon” pop-up that appears with more information. Although most of the app is in English, the text within the pop-up is only written in Spanish.
The option for children under 12 years old does work and takes you to a screen that has the main content as well as games that were created to help learn about asthma.
The content section has 5 modules, each with distinct information about asthma. Each module is read out loud by a storyteller and has sections that allow the child to interact with the app. These include brief pauses to ask the child to answer questions that go along with the information presented.
However, some of the material presented in the modules might go beyond the understanding of children under 12 years old. For example, parts of the module explain what bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli are – complex anatomy that is taught at the medical school level.
The storyteller also has a Spanish accent which made some parts of the module difficult to understand and may act as a barrier for children under 12 years old who are not used to hearing that type of accent. The text also includes some Spanish punctuations that could confuse children who are not familiar with it.
The app currently only includes the first two of five modules. After completing the second module, the same “Coming soon” pop-up shows up and takes you to the main menu.
The app also has a section for games. The iTunes link says that the games were developed to help children understand the medical content, but some of the games do not seem to have much of a connection to asthma. For example, one game makes the child find the differences between two images of a city street.
- Great idea to teach children about a disease they may live with
- Media and illustrations are made to target children
- The app is not currently complete. There is no teenager section and there are only 2 of the 5 information modules added.
- The information may go beyond the level of understanding that children under 12 years old need to have
- The games may not all be useful in learning about asthma
- The app may be too basic or childlike for teenagers
Patients that would benefit from the app
- Any child or teenager who has asthma or wants to learn about asthma.
- This app tries to create a way for children to learn about asthma. However, the app is not complete and there are many things that need to be perfected. The content of the app may need to be altered so it is understood by the target audience and the games should find ways to incorporate the information to create a better learning experience.
Rating: (1 to 5 stars) – 2.75 Stars.
- User Interface: – 2/5 Stars. The app is easy to use but there are sections in the English version that have text in Spanish.
- Multimedia usage: – 2/5 Stars. The illustrations and audio were a great part of this app but target the under 12 year old group more than the teenager group.
- Price: – 5/5 Stars. Free.
- Real world applicability: – 2/5 Stars. Currently, this app is not completed so it was difficult to see how useful the app can truly be. It can definitely be used to help younger children learn about asthma in an interactive way, but there may need to be some modifications to the actual content. It would be interesting to see what the teenager section will have and how useful it may actually be for them.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Tested on: iPhone 4
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.