The AAP Journals app is the latest iteration of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) efforts to provide a mobile viewing platform for their signature journals. The app builds on the standalone “Pediatrics” app released in 2011 and Pediatrics Digest app that the AAP recently retired. It is designed to provide a one-app platform for all their journals. This includes the signature journal Pediatrics, the new pediatric hospitalist-oriented Hospital Pediatrics journal, their review for neonatologists (NeoReviews), general pediatricians (Pediatrics in Review) and their newsletters (“AAP Grand Rounds” and “AAP News”).

The app builds on the standalone Pediatrics app in providing a well-designed mobile platform, with integration of many of the AAP’s online offerings through an in-app browser. It is a very useful app for general pediatricians, essential for trainees and AAP members, but has limitations that may prevent its broader use.

User Interface:

The app opens with a list of AAP journals, in rows along the lines of iOS’s Newstand app or via a rotating list.

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Once a user selects the journal, the app presents the option of downloading the latest issue or looking at a table of contents. Selecting an article leads to the abstract which can be favorited or emailed. The abstracts are available to all users of the app.

2014-05-12 00.03.45Articles can also be viewed as full-text within the app or opened as a PDF, which can be viewed full-screen and/or opened in other apps. At this point, however, a login is required.

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Figures and tables in articles can be viewed separately but cannot be opened in other apps. The text is not well-formatted for mobile viewing, especially on the iPhone — users have to scroll through blocks of text to get to areas of interest, such as methods or results.

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A key limitation is that full-text or PDF access is only available to institutional users or members of the AAP. Unlike the New England Journal of Medicine app, there is no ability to buy single issue access. The login process can be cumbersome — my AAP login was rejected multiple times, requiring logging in through my institutions’ VPN. The app also offers access to “Early Release” papers that will be published in Pediatrics or Hospital Pediatrics – a key function of the retired Pediatrics Digest app. The in-app browser has one button access to the Pediatrics’ online archives website (issues from January 2013 and later are available in the app directly).

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The in-app browser also integrates the AAP’s CME functions which are integrated into the Pediatrics in Review and NeoReviews. However, because it can only be accessed from the in-app browser, it requires a rather cumbersome repeat log-in.

2014-05-12 00Issues since January 2013 can be downloaded for offline viewing. Unlike the “New England Journal” app, there is no mobile viewing platform for the entire issue — each article is a unique tab with PDF and full-text off-line access. Under app settings, users can choose how much space the app can take and can choose to automatically download new issues of the journal.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • Trainees in pediatrics, general pediatricians, and neonatologists, especially those who are AAP members.
  • Price
    • The app is free to institutional users (either on VPN or through an institutional proxy) or to AAP members. Ninety-eight percent of pediatric residents are AAP members. There is no option to buy single editions of the journal.
    • Comprehensive one-app access to all AAP journals
    • Integration with other apps such as “Notability” and “Dropbox”
    • Storage for off-line viewing of journal issues
    • Integration with CME
  • Dislikes
    • Cumbersome log-in process, especially for in-app web sites
    • Text poorly formatted
  • Overall
    • The AAP Journals app is a must-have for any pediatric trainee, given the amount of pediatric research published in Pediatrics, the high-yield summaries in Pediatrics in Review and NeoReviews and AAP membership availability for trainees. The app is overall an excellent and easy to use source of pediatric reviews and newly published research, but the lack of availability for non-AAP members will limit its reach.  AAP members who use medical literature apps such as “Docphin” or “Read” will still benefit from one app access to all the AAP journals and extras like early access to papers and CME credit.
  • Overall Score
  • User Interface
  • Multimedia Usage
  • Price
  • Real World Applicability
  • Device Used For Review

    iPad and iPhone

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