Recently, we reviewed the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) Pocket Guidelines app and were, in all honesty, disappointed with what we found.
Essentially a compilation of the images of a few charts from various guidelines from ASE, the Pocket Guidelines app made poor use of the platform for which it was designed.
So we approached the next app from ASE, iASE, with some trepidation.
In addition to information from the guidelines, this app also includes features such as calculators commonly used by anyone who interprets echocardiograms.
After trying out iASE, we did find our faith restored.
The app opens to a general introduction screen which discloses authorship of the app and the usual disclaimers. From here, we’re taking to the Summary section, one of the four available within the app.
In this section, we can review the highlights of several of the main ASE guidelines, namely those that address image acquisition and interpretation. Diving into the Valvular Stenosis section, we’re presented with the option of reviewing the full text PDF guide or going through the figures and tables.
Unlike the Pocket Guidelines app, iASE presents this information in an expanding table format that is much more usable on a smartphone than simply showing images of tables lifted from the guidelines.
The Calculators section includes a pretty comprehensive selection of equations used in interpretation of echos. The design here is simple; one improvement would be to enable keypad entry for the inputs rather than pulling up a standard keyboard. The figures are also a nice addition and many are especially useful in teaching; for example, the figures that go along with the continuity equation would be handy when trying to explain how aortic valve area is calculated.
In addition, the calculators all have references so that you can learn more about their basis and, perhaps more importantly, limitations.
The Ref. Values section seems like a somewhat arbitrary collection of information but the inclusion of normal values for a wide range of prosthetic valves is a really handy feature. Particularly in the era of transcatheter valve replacements where a lot more people are going to have prosthetic valves, this information is nice to have centralized from a reliable source.
The last section is simply a collection of guidelines from the ASE in PDF form. It is a long list that can be refined based on categories of guidelines. A search feature would be nice here in the future.
- $4.99 (as of date of publish)
- Simple, intuitive design
- Excellent practical selection of information for inclusion
- References provided for calculators
- Needs a search feature
- Ability to bookmark for quick access would be helpful though not essential
- iASE is a great app for anyone who interprets echos with any sort of regularity; it’s practically a must-have for anyone learning. Hopefully the pricing stays reasonable down the road (a concern given how overpriced ASE’s other app, Pocket Guidelines is).