The new Pediatric Blood Pressure app makes current guidelines accessible but doesn’t go into much detail.

For busy primary care clinicians and pediatricians, well-child exams and sports physicals are part of the daily routine. These visits can be some of the most rewarding and impactful since they allow for low-stress interactions with the patient and family since the child is not acutely ill. This permits providers to focus on patient and parent education, completion of detailed physical exams, and ensuring patients are up to date on their immunizations. Vital signs in these visits are also very important but can be easily overlooked. During these well visits, providers can intervene on childhood overweight and obesity as well as catch asymptomatic hypertension.

In August 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a new clinical practice guideline on the screening and management of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. The guideline is a massive 76-page update of their 2004 guideline and the critical tables to determine if a child is in say the normative 50th percentile vs. the concerning 95th + 12 percentile are buried in the appendices. Furthermore, these tables utilize the patient’s gender, age, and height to calculate these percentiles. One could print these out and place on their office wall or ideally use an app to parse out the data in the tables. Gregory Drake Wilson is a plant geneticist and app developer who created a new app called Pediatric Blood Pressure at the urging of a relative to help make sorting these data easier.

The app is basic, but performs its primary function effectively and efficiently. You provide the gender, age and height of the patient and the Pediatric Blood Pressure app returns the 50th, 90th, 95th and 95th + 12 blood pressure percentiles. It also includes a link to the actual guideline, but it doesn’t include any additional information in the guideline such as proper attainment of peds BP, additional workup for elevated BPs, or management and follow-up based on percentile. Unfortunately, all of that information remains buried in the 76-page guideline.

Clinical Scenario

You are helping your local community by performing mass sports screenings at your clinic on the weekends. You must rapidly determine if each child’s blood pressures are in the normative range. Your nurse brings in a patient who is a 10-year-old male, 145 cm tall. His blood pressure is 118/80. What would you tell the patient and his parents?

Video Review

Evidence-based medicine

The app is based on the August 2017 Clinical Practice Guideline from the AAP on the screening and management of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. The app’s primary function is to determine if a particular child’s blood pressure is in the normative range based on their gender, age, and height. The app does not discuss the management of blood pressure or follow-up of children with blood pressures in the 90th, 95th or 95th + 12 ranges.

What providers would benefit from this Pediatric Blood Pressure app?

Primary care providers, pediatricians or any providers who treat pediatric patients including students, PA’s, NP’s, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, EM/Peds, IM/Peds, Family Medicine, etc.

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.

  • Price
    • $0.99
    • Quickly calculates BP %.
    • Link to AAP peds BP CPG.
    • Makes a tedious task quick and easy; making CPG more accessible.
  • Dislikes
    • No content beyond the BP tables/percentile calculations.
    • No information about the author/background on the app.
    • Not available for Android.
  • Overall

    The Pedatric Blood Pressure app is one that I can see getting used at nearly any well-child exam or sports physical to determine if a child’s BP is in a normal or more concerning range. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a synopsis of the much longer AAP Peds BP guideline, though it does link to it.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to use, rapidly calculates peds BP percentiles.

  • Multimedia Usage

    The app contains a link to the actual pediatric BP guideline from the AAP.

  • Price

    Not an unreasonable price, but would like to see more functionality than an easily used “table”.

  • Real World Applicability

    Pediatric Blood Pressure can efficiently assist providers performing general pediatric well child/sports physicals in the assessment of blood pressure. In a matter of seconds, the app can determine if a child’s blood pressure is within normal limits or in a concerning range. Unfortunately, it doesn’t adequately assist providers with determining the next steps with that information.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 11.2.1

  • Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad