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.
Due to these data, primary care providers need outstanding geriatrics apps to use at the point of care. Here on iMedicalApps we have recently reviewed a number of geriatrics medical apps including many from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) including Geriatrics at Your Fingertips, and Multimorbidity/MCC GEMS, iGeriatrics, as well as the Edmonton Frail Scale and Palliate Guide.
The latest app from the AGS is called AGS GEMS (Geriatrics Evaluation and Management Tools). The app includes information on over 20 common geriatrics topics and is presented in an easy to follow history and physical format. The content is derived from their Geriatrics Review Syllabus and Geriatrics at Your Fingertips.
Evidence based medicine
The AGS GEMS medical app states that it is evidence based as it is derived from the AGS Geriatrics Review Syllabus and Geriatrics at Your Fingertips resources. The app does contain references to some of the content sections, but others seem to be broad statements/recommendations without any reference listed. The app also contains all of the AGS Choosing Wisely recommendations. The app does include a number of excellent evidence based tools including the Mini-Cog screen for dementia, the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), Geriatric Depression Scale along with several others. However these tools are either just listed or have hyperlinks; none are built into the app.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and subspecialties, and Geriatrics providers. The app could really benefit any provider who manages geriatrics 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.
- “Cliff Notes” of many common geriatrics topics in a history and physical format.
- Includes Choosing Wisely recommendations in many topic sections where available.
- Many helpful tables on medications and links to screening tools.
- Available for Android.
- App text is difficult to read in charts and tables without a good landscape view.
- App lacks any built in calculators and could use more hyperlinks to resources.
- App could use more references and links to those references.
The AGS GEMS app is a pretty good geriatrics reference from the AGS. The medical app is deliberately scaled back from the more text heavy Geriatrics at Your Fingertips which is good. However, the geriatrics app lacks many of the easy to use tools in some of the other AGS apps. I would love an all in one AGS app that took in the best of each of their existing apps rather than this diverse selection of apps in which each seems to be missing something that keeps it from being great.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to navigate interface with subsections in a history and physical format; tough to read tables.
- Multimedia Usage
The app includes links to PDFs, websites, etc., but lacks any built in calculators or tools.
Free to download, but $9.99 a year to unlock all content. May be too much for some based on content included.
- Real World Applicability
A nice geriatrics handbook that truly could be used at the point of care especially for residents and geriatrics fellows. Material not detailed enough to take the place of more standard references such as UpToDate or Dynamed.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3.1
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad