App Review of AOTrauma Orthogeriatrics by AO Foundation

Medical science has greatly improved the lifespan of patients. The aging population has also led to an increase in elderly patients with orthopaedic problems. Musculoskeletal complaints are one of the most common reasons for patients to see a physician in the USA. The aging population is especially at risk for arthritis, fractures, and osteoporosis. Mobile technology is taking on an increasingly important role in evaluating and managing these patients.

The AO Foundation is an international leader in orthopaedic education — and we have reviewed their other standout apps prior. They have several orthopaedic apps that are extremely high-yield and useful for medical professionals involved in the care of orthopaedic patients. The Orthogeriatrics app is a new app by the AO Foundation that continues in this line of educational apps. It was created by an expert team and group of reviewers to consolidate information on topics relevant to elderly orthopaedic patients. The app provides several care pathways to help direct orthopaedic physicians in the management of these patients.

User Interface

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The app opens into a list navigation screen. Topics include Osteoporosis, Delirium, Anticoagulation, and Pain Management (available in late 2014).

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The user selects one of these topics and then begins a treatment pathway. The options are usually “yes” or “no” questions or based around clinical findings or lab values.

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The user needs a medical background to understand the pathways. Based on the lab findings, the app will help direct options for medical management or recommend consultation for another specialist. The app provides medication type, route, and dosing information for the presented topics.

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The treatment pathways and recommendations are supported well with referenced information in the app. The app is not really designed to be a study tool or educational reference. It seems its greatest utility is in giving clinicians a starting point through a treatment pathway for the given conditions. The pathways and app design are well suited for use when evaluating a patient with one a condition covered by of the topic pathways: osteoporosis, delirium, or anticoagulation planning.

Sometimes, however, the pathway can be very simplistic or of little utility. For example, after diagnosing an elevated lab value (ex. calcium), it recommends consulting another medical specialist (ex. endocrinologist).

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Any orthopaedist involved in the management of elderly patients with orthopaedic conditions.
  • Price
    • Free
    • Good information and educational tool.
    • Good user interface.
    • Facilitates evaluating and managing elderly orthopaedic patients’ comorbidities.
  • Dislikes
    • Multimedia usage is lacking throughout the app – the app is mainly text.
    • The pathway design can be very simplistic at times.
  • Overall
    • This is nice app that provides focused information for a specific patient population. The app helps the physician develop a differential for diagnosis and facilitates  creating a treatment plan. The app can help guide healthcare workers evaluating and managing elderly orthopaedic patients.
  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    The information is presented in an easy-to-understand format and is easy to navigate.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Good use of artwork.

  • Price

    The app is free for medical specialists.

  • Real World Applicability

    This app can be useful to medical professionals that work with this patient population.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 5

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad