This is a review of the Palliate Guide app, a tool for prescribing medications in palliative care medicine. Palliate Guide is aimed at general practitioners, palliative care physicians, and palliative care nurses.
Our country is aging, but more importantly the entire world’s population is aging. By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be entitled to Medicare. As our population ages, we face a significant shortage of primary care providers and geriatricians. Statistics from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) in 2010 were sobering – only 75 residents in internal medicine or family medicine entered geriatric medicine fellowship programs. There are more than 7,500 certified geriatricians in the U.S., but we need an estimated 17,000 geriatricians to care for the nearly 12 million elderly Americans estimated by 2030.This will become a social and economic issue for decades to come.
As the population ages, we will need more providers skilled in palliative care and hospice medicine. These providers are skilled in both geriatrics as well as opioid pain management. Although one of the newest board eligible specialties with increasing numbers of training programs, there is already nearly a 6,000 palliative care provider shortage.
Here on iMedicalApps we have recently reviewed a number of geriatrics as well as opioid apps including many from the American Geriatrics Society including Geriatrics at Your Fingertips, Multimorbidity/MCC GEMS, iGeriatrics, Edmonton Frail Scale, ePrognosis, Opioid Risk Tool, eOpioid, Opioid Calculator, and Safe Opioids.
We have not previously reviewed any dedicated palliative care apps. Palliate Guide is a medical app designed for palliative care and hospice providers designed by Dr Emad Al-Rikabi, a palliative care specialist at Prince of Wales Hospice in the UK. The palliative care app is a totally offline guide book to the basics of palliative care and opioid prescribing in that population. In particular, the medical app discusses the use of syringe tool drivers which are commonly used in palliative care to deliver medications subcutaneously. Apparently the original medical app contained more specifics on opioid conversion, but current Apple app guidelines forced him to remove some of that information in order to keep the app approved. iMedicalApps broke the story a few years ago of how Apple has been rejecting medication apps that include specific drug dosages.
Evidence based medicine
The medical app comes from a palliative care specialist in the UK with over 8 years of practice in the field. The palliative care guide portion of the app is based on The Guide to Symptom Management in Palliative Care published by the Yorkshire Cancer Network. The Palliate Guide app was funded by the author with the help of a freelance design team. A portion of the proceeds of the medical app are being donated to the Prince of Wales Hospice.
Who would benefit from this App?
Hospice and palliative care providers including nurses, residents, internal medicine, family medicine, geriatrics or any provider who treats palliative care patients.
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.
- Unique tool for syringe driver use.
- Comprehensive evidence based palliative care guide included.
- Useful section of pearls on palliative drugs.
- Includes multiple references with links.
- Works offline.
- Interface at times difficult to read with some typographical errors.
- Palliative care guide and other sections would benefit from quick links.
- No built in opioid conversion calculator — apparently removed per Apple policy.
- No Android version.
Palliate Guide is a unique and useful medical app for providers in palliative and hospice care. The medical app fills a void in the app store for an app that includes helpful tips for the care of these challenging patients and proper use of the powerful pain medications needed to treat cancer and other debilitating pain. Palliate Guide isn’t perfect and requires a separate opioid prescribing tool for opioid conversions due to Apple App Store policies. We have reviewed several of these opioid conversation apps prior on iMedicalApps.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use interface, but at times difficult to read and requires a lot of scrolling in some sections.
- Multimedia Usage
Medical app has multiple links to useful references.
Palliate Guide is not particularly expensive, but may be a barrier for some. 10% of proceeds go to Prince of Wales Hospice.
- Real World Applicability
Palliate Guide has significant real world applicability especially for hospice nurses and providers in palliative care fellowships or just starting out in the field of palliative care.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2.1
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad