Purpose of App Review

To review the utility, ease of use, and information provided by the Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring app.

Introduction

Walk onto any obstetric ward in the United States and you will see monitors full of fetal heart tracings. To the untrained eye, they are just parallel lines.

To the trained eye, they give a second-to-second update on the fetal heart rate.

To become trained, you need to learn how to interpret the pictures. The Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring app acts a quick reference guide, complete with actual fetal heart tracing images, to support the learning and interpretation of “strips.”

User Interface

The home screen provides access to almost all of the features of the application. The app’s interactive portions are broken up into three straightforward categories. These categories are seen below in the picture.

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The Definitions of Terminology section allows you to read about the components of the fetal heart tracing, complete with written description and fetal heart tracing examples.

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This section also includes information on the assumptions inherent to fetal heart tracings. This is an important topic to address as no monitoring method is perfect.

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The middle section of the home screen allows you to browse the definitions and see various examples of fetal heart tracing categories according to the most recent workshop guidelines.

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For Category II and III tracings, the app also offers a subsection on treatment recommendations for that type of tracing.

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The final section provides tables of how various drugs or disease pathologies can affect a fetal heart tracing, including the effects of commonly used medications on labor and delivery.

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As of February 1, 2013, the app also includes a 50-question quiz.

Evidence to support use

  • Credible references provided for tables. Practice Bulletins and workshop references are listed among resources for the app material.

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • written and visual descriptions of terms
  • includes section on how various environmental, maternal, or fetal conditions affect the fetal heart rate
  • uses individualized images for each aspect of the category tracings
  • straightforward presentation
  • quiz question

Dislikes

  • Some sections are just bulleted paragraphs with too much writing and information for one screen
  • Only static, single-shot images provided; does not make use of image slide or video function of iPad or dynamic nature of fetal heart tracings

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Anyone learning to or actively interpreting electronic fetal heart tracings according to the most recent ACOG recommendations

Patients that may benefit from app

  • Patients interested in learning how healthcare providers interpret their baby’s heart beat pattern

Conclusion

  • The Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring app provides a useful reference and review guide for practitioners and is a robust teaching tool for fetal heart tracings. Information provided is referenced and up to date with the most recent classification and guidelines.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: 3.8

1. User Interface – 3.75.  Easy to identify area of interest on home screen and navigate to.  Screens can be crowded with information
2. Multimedia usage – 3.  utilizes written and visual formats, underutilizes video and split screen options
3. Price- 5. Good deal of information in a succinct and organized manner
4. Real world applicability – 3.5.  Great teaching tool for students and other trainees, helpful for practitioners who want to review exact definitions or see examples of particularly rare tracings

Disclaimer:
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 healthcare provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or healthcare 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 healthcare provider.