Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in children with a prevalence of over 8% in US children. This translates to over 7 million children in the US have asthma. For over 60% of these children, their asthma is persistent asthma not intermittent. In 2007, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released their Expert Panel Report-3 for the management of asthma. These guidelines are still in effect with minor updates over the years. Many providers and patients struggle to follow the guidelines, but recent evidence shows that use of a patient portal might reduce asthma flares in children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently released an app to promote guideline adherence among both providers and patients. We have reviewed several of the AAP apps here on iMedicalApps and found them decidedly mixed in quality and price. Their new Asthma Care app combines actual patient care information with clinical resources like the current asthma guideline. The app also attempts to promote guideline implementation and adherence in the provider’s practice via use of actual patient information.
Let’s take a look at the AAP Asthma Care app via a patient scenario. You are seeing Jane, a 7 year old female with moderate persistent asthma, in clinic with her mother. Jane is currently taking a moderate dose of long acting corticosteroid, fluticasone with as needed rescue therapy with albuterol. Jane’s mother is wondering if the fluticasone is really necessary based on Jane’s current symptoms.
Content: Can I trust the app’s health and medical information?
Yes. The app was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and uses the most current asthma guidelines and resources available. The app links to other AAP products such as Pediatrics Care Online and the Medical Home Chapter Champions on Pediatric Asthma (MHCCPA). Although I could find no disclosures of any conflicts of interest, I did not see any evidence of funding from pharma. The app included a method of contacting the developer to leave feedback.
Usability: will the app work as expected and in a meaningful way?
Somewhat. Unfortunately, like many other AAP apps, Asthma Care has some rather annoying interface issues. I like the Point of Care powered possibilities of using the patient portal and seeing graphic data of “my patients”. I don’t like the fact that this is only available to AAP members. The inclusion of the asthma action plan and encounter forms are nice, but you can’t write on the forms and print them from the app. You must print blank forms and complete them. Also lacking is better integration with actual EMR’s, but this is an issue that the AAP likely cannot easily solve.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Utilizes evidence based asthma guidelines and resources.
- Potentially groundbreaking patient portal.
- Key tools such as asthma action plan built into app.
- Ability to prescribe companion app to patients.
- Interface lacking in some ease of use functions.
- Some concerns about patient privacy/data protection with portal.
- Requires membership to the AAP and/or subscription to Pediatrics Care Online for full resource access and utility.
- App limited to iPad only, no iPhone or Android versions. Companion app works on any iOS device.
An app for a very common problem that utilizes evidence based tools in an evidence based and groundbreaking way. However, the limitations to iPad only greatly limit the use of the app for many providers. Furthermore, the app’s interface and functionality are less than ideal. Although the app is free, it requires AAP membership and a subscription and/or a subscription to Pediatrics Care Online for full access.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
- Multimedia Usage
- Real World Applicability
- Device Used For Review
iPad Air running iOS 8.4.1
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad