Ed. Note: This review is being updated with more detail on the information source of the app. We will update this post with a link to the latest review once published.
For parents, questions about their kids’ health have an inconvenient tendency of coming up after hours and on weekends. But not all pediatric providers offer night and weekend coverage and urgent care requires a trip and a fee for something that could possibly be managed at home. KidsDoc is an app for parents, with content from Barton Schmitt, a pediatrician who has written many phone triage books used by pediatric practices. KidsDoc is a simple, easy to use app that has a wealth of information for parents.
The app opens to a home page where users can choose from an Alphabetical Index of symptoms, a Body Area Index to search by affected body area, a Keyword Search for symptoms, and a First Aid Support button that includes first aid topics.
The symptoms are laid out in a clear, easy-to-read fashion. Each symptom starts with a “definition” tab that asks the parents if their child’s symptoms are consistent with that topic (and a list of “If not, try one of these” with links to related topics).
The next tab is “when to call”, which divides symptoms into “Call 911 Now” (with one click access to dialing 911), “Go to the ER Now,” “Call Doctor Now or Go to ER” or “Call Doctor Within 24 Hours” (with one click access to calling a set clinic number), or “Self Care at Home.”
Tapping one of the self-care at home guides or the “care advice” tab which has suggestions for managing the problem at hand and can be shared.
The “First Aid Support” section is divided into “Life Threatening Issues” (such as a choking child) and “All First Aid Topics”, ranging from an amputated digit to knocked out teeth. The topics include pictures and information on management.
Other options on the home screen include: a “Seek Help” button from which users can call 911, poison control, or their child’s doctor (once input), a button to find nearby EDs via Google Maps and a “Meds” tab where medications and allergies can be input, or doses of common over the counter medications.
A couple of minor limitations are worth noting. One, there is no video or color graphics (in general the multimedia is fairly limited). Another limitation is that KidsDoc does not integrate with other AAP apps, like Healthy Children so parents will have to input their child’s information independently into each app. There also does not appear to be an interface where providers can push information for home management of more complex, less common conditions.
- Authoritative sources for wide range of conditions
- Simple, easy to read and follow format
- Direct calling to physician offices, poison control or 911
- Limited multimedia use
- Not integrated with other AAP apps
KidsDoc is a useful app for parents who want trusted information on home management of common pediatric conditions and first aid situations. With better integration into a child’s EMR (or even other AAP apps) it could be a truly indispensable resource.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use and follow, with an interface that is well designed for mobile. Virtually all functions are only a couple of jumps away and the text size is perfect for mobile screens. The app is simple to use with little instruction needed.
- Multimedia Usage
While the text formatting is terrific for mobile, there is not much use of multimedia, with simple black and white pictures the only multimedia included.
At $1.99, this is one of the most affordable AAP apps and is certainly worth it for the wealth of information.
- Real World Applicability
The app covers almost every commonly encountered pediatric symptom/condition and many first aid crises along with dosage tables for common over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, it also includes dosing for OTC cold medicines like dextromethrophan — even though it includes the 2008 FDA warning to not use for children under 4 it does imply the imprimatur of the AAP in use of a potentially unsafe product for many children.
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad