Purpose of App Review

How useful is this app in identifying patients for deep brain stimulation (DBS)?

Introduction

Deep brain stimulation is an invasive treatment that uses an implanted device to create electrical signals in the brain to help alleviate various treatment resistant neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Although DBS is an effective therapeutic treatment, patients need to be evaluated according to their condition and extent of disease in order to be eligible for the procedure. The Assess for DBS medical app was created by medtronic to help physicians evaluate and identify if patients should be referred for DBS.

User Interface

The user interface of this app makes it very easy to use and navigate. First, the app opens up with a screen that can lead you to start a patient evaluation, get background information on DBS, find information relating to the methodology of the app, as well as instructions on how to use the app.

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The background information screen gives a summary of the methods the app uses to make its recommendation for DBS. The app states that it uses the RAND Appropriateness method and has an in-app link that opens up with more information about that method which includes citations. The information page also lists the doctors involved in developing that method.

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The first patient evaluation screen has a series of questions about the patient that have Yes or No answers

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If the answers are not Yes to all of these questions a pop-up shows up stating right away that the patient does not meet the requirements for DBS consideration.

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However, if the answers are all Yes, then the next screen has another set of more specific questions such as age, duration of Parkinson’s disease, severity of dyskinesias, etc.

Some of these questions have tabs that open with more information such as definitions. Since many of the questions and answers depend on subjective information, the information tabs also include descriptions or explanations of what the patient may present with for each answer choice.

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After completing these questions, a recommendation is revealed. The recommendation shows the recommendation for DBS referral as either inappropriate, uncertain or appropriate according to the answers to the questions. These results can then be sent as an email in PDF format. Overall, this app is very well made and can be a handy tool for physicians to have to help make an assessment for DBS referral.

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Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Very well made app, easy to navigate
  • Has information on the method used to make the ratings of appropriateness for referral for DBS as well as citations for more information
  • The app includes tabs with helpful information about various questions

Dislikes

  • Although the app contains information of the methods used to make the ratings for DBS referral, it would be more convenient if the citations were hyper-linked
  • The app says that it should be used in the USA only at the very bottom of the safety page
  • It may be better if this was listed on the opening screen

 Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Any physician who is treats patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Conclusions

  • This app is a very well developed medical tool that can be used by physicians to assess patients eligibility for DBS. The app is very easy to use and navigate and gives very quick results. This app is not available on the Android platform.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars)
Overall: 4.66 Stars

  1. User Interface – 5/5 Stars. The app is easy to use and navigate and has a great layout.
  2. Multimedia usage: N/a
  3. Price – 5/5 Stars. Free.
  4. Real world applicability – 4/5 Stars. This app can be a great tool for physicians who treat Parkinson’s disease in the USA. Although this app does help evaluate patients for referral for DBS, the questions and answer choices are still subjective.

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Tested on: iPhone 4

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 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.