Review of the AAP Essentials: Type 2 Diabetes app for iPhone & iPad
As obesity has reached epidemic proportions in children and adolescents, Type 2 diabetes has become increasingly prevalent in the adolescent population. What was once solely an adult disease is increasingly affecting adolescents and even pre-teens. In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics released its first clinical practice guidelines on managing Type 2 diabetes in the pediatric population. The “Type 2 Diabetes app” transforms this clinical practice guideline into an easy-to-use app.
The app opens to its home page which includes the basic categories of the clinical practice guideline.
The two major categories are Determine Treatment and Monitoring. Tapping on the treatment button brings up single screens with decision support questions that walk users through treatment recommendations (insulin vs. metformin) depending on the patients’ diabetes control (e.g., their HbA1c or blood glucose).
The monitoring category includes recommendations on how frequently to check fingerstick blood glucose and/or HbA1c’s depending on the degree of insulin resistance and diabetes control.
Among the other categories are Key Action Statements, which include the six key action statements from the AAP, and Treatments, which includes the four treatment options: insulin, metformin, lifestyle management, and complementary and alternative therapies. The options are laid out in an easy-to-read format, that works well on tablet or phone screens.
The other categories are less user-friendly. The Technical Report and Clinical Practice Guideline buttons open an internal web browser — users can open the PDF of the reports in the app, but cannot open them in other apps like Dropbox or PDF annotating apps. The Diabetes Resources button leads to a link to a video on diabetes management hosted on Dropbox and another website on the internal browser, this time the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations on transitioning young adults with diabetes to the adult care system.
- Clean interface, easy to follow
- Decision support transforms guideline processes into easy-to-use mobile form
- No patient tracking ability
- Unable to upload specific HBA1c’s or blood glucoses
- No ability to open PDFs in other apps
The Type 2 Diabetes app from the American Academy of Pediatrics illustrates how a clinical guideline can be transformed into an easy-to-use mobile app. While the app’s benefits do not justify its high cost, and its inability to input patient specific data limits its usefulness, its design can be a template for converting other AAP guidelines into mobile apps.
Given the poor uptake of clinical practice guidelines, making it easier to access them at the point of care will hopefully increase their use. Hopefully future versions will better align the cost to the type of app being delivered.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
The user interface in most sections is easy to use, but the guideline and resources sections limit the overall usability.
- Multimedia Usage
Poor use of media: its only video is just a webinar and the app generally does not take advantage of iPad or iPhone’s multimedia potential.
$14.99 is excessive for an app that simply transforms a guideline into a more easy-to-use mobile format.
- Real World Applicability
The app is easy to use at the point of care, although it does lack the ability to track individual patients’ diabetes control.
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad