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. Furthermore, as the population ages, dementia rates are skyrocketing. Alzheimer’s disease has become a significant cause of morbidly and mortality in our population. Alzheimer’s disease is now the 6th leading cause of death accounting for 3.6% of deaths in 2014 according to the CDC. Data published in 2017 demonstrate a 55% increase in mortality from Alzheimer’s disease from 1999 to 2014. 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. Due to these data, primary care providers need outstanding point of care apps for the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease. Here at iMedicalApps we have reviewed a number of geriatrics apps including many from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) including Geriatrics at Your Fingertips, Multimorbidity/MCC GEMS,iGeriatrics, and AGS GEMS. One of the latest apps for Alzheimer’s disease is called AlzDxRx and is produced by the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation. The purpose of the app is to help providers screen, diagnose and manage patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Evidence based medicine
The app does not contain references for any of its content, but states online that it is developed from evidence-based guidelines with input from neurologists, geriatricians, etc. The app contains a reasonable algorithm for the diagnosis and management of the Alzheimer’s disease and includes built-in calculators for some of the most common screening tests such as the Mini-Cog. The app does not contain much information on management of the condition.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and sub-specialties, and Geriatrics providers. The app could really benefit any provider who sees geriatrics patients and may have to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
- Contains easy to follow algorithm for diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Includes numerous built-in calculators/screening tests for Alzheimer’s disease such as Mini-Cog.
- Available for Android.
- No information on how to use app, references or information on screening tools.
- Treatment section lacks information on medical management.
- App requires NPI number to set-up account.
AlzDxRx is a good, free app from a county medical foundation that attempts to put helpful tools into the hands of providers. There are other options providers can use for some of the screening tests (including some apps from the American Geriatrics Society), but I appreciate having them in one place along with recommended steps to take in making the diagnosis and follow-up. However, the app lacks a robust section on management that will force providers to look at their reference of choice such as Dynamed Plus, UpToDate, or Essential Evidence Plus.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to start an assessment on a patient, but can be difficult to “jump” to different sections within the app. No information on how to use the app.
- Multimedia Usage
The app has numerous built in calculators and an algorithm for screening and diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, but lacks any information on the tools or references.
Free to download, but app requires NPI number to set up account which is a potential barrier for some not willing to share that information with the app developers (for good reason).
- Real World Applicability
AlzDxRx is a good app to aid busy providers to get started with screening and diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The built in tools and algorithm is very helpful, but the app falls short by not having a more robust section on management, particularly the role of medications in treatment.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 10.3.3
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad