Mobile games have become big business for app developers. One look through the Apple or Android app stores will convince you of this fact. There are literally thousands of games available for download. Back in 2013 we reviewed PICU Question of the Day (PICU QOD Plus) as one of a growing industry of games for medical providers. Apps such as PICU QOD Plus attempt to make learning fun. For most licensed physicians, we are most concerned about board certification. Prior to board certification, medical students and residents must first survive rotation shelf exams, Step I/II/III licensing exams, and yearly in-training exams. All of these tests cost a significant amount of money and create anxiety. Therefore, anything that could make this fun is appealing. Many of these apps are also simply for maintaining clinical sharpness and play more as simple quiz games of test bank questions without any XBox game play features. Previously on iMedicalApps we reviewed a number of apps for exam preparation including NEJM Family Medicine, AAEM Flash Cards, Pretest Pediatrics, Pediatric Quiz, and Ward Rounds. The options are nearly limitless, but few have been studied or proven to improve success on the certification exam.
Let’s take a fresh look at PICU Question of the Day Plus. The app was developed by Dr Riad Lutfi, MD and Dr William Ma, MD, MBA. Both are pediatric intensivists at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, IN. The scenarios and questions are written by the authors based on feedback from Dr Ma after the initial review of the app in 2013.. The latest version of the game has not changed much since the initial review, but there is now a PICU Question of the Day Enhanced which tracks your score during the week. When you first open the app you are immediately shown the 1st question and can scroll forward/backwards through questions. The goal is to provide one question per day with new content updated in the app monthly. Unlike Ward Rounds, the questions are not timed so you can spend as much or as little time as you wish on each one. After each question you can review the answer before trying the next question. There are no references for the questions that I could find.
Evidence based medicine
PICU QOD Plus contains over 30 questions which are updated/changed monthly with a goal to provide one for each day of the week. Each question/answer is written by experts in the field of pediatric critical care medicine. The issue will become keeping the content fresh and up to date over time and ensuring quality references are provided.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, primary care and pediatric residents, pediatric critical care fellows, mid-levels, any staff provider who is interested in challenging their medical knowledge of pediatric critical care medicine.
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.
- Easy to use app with a simple premise of providing one question per day.
- Detailed answers provided for each question.
- Questions from reputable authors.
- Price reasonable, but may be too steep for those wanting more questions up front.
- Clearly has limited number of “plays” due to limited content.
- No references for answers provided for the questions.
- Not available for Android.
PICU Question of the Day Plus is a simple app that does exactly what it claims to and nothing more. If you are looking for a question of the day app for pediatric critical care medicine, this is the app for you. The app would be improved by providing quality references for each answer(s) in the app.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Basic interface that is not appealing but is easy enough to use.
- Multimedia Usage
Basic version of app doesn’t track scores. Does have ability to be updated monthly and some questions have graphics, but most do not. Some graphics did not display well on my iPhone 6S.
App is $0.99 which may make it an easy buy for some; others may be looking for a more extensive question bank up front and will be disappointed by the initial 30 question “limit”.
- Real World Applicability
This is an easy to use app for providers looking to challenge themselves with a question of the day game format written by reputable experts in pediatric critical care.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad