App Helps Ensure Your Pediatric Patients Are Prepared to Make Their Own Medical Decisions
What happens to our adolescent medicine patients when they turn 18? The answer likely varies by patient, insurance coverage, etc. Many instantly become their own medical decision-makers potentially completely independent of their parents’ input. How do we know they are “ready” for these life-impacting decisions, especially those with chronic medical conditions.
A pediatrics department team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has set out to help these patients with the transition. Not only does this group have a dedicated clinic and team members to assist these patients, Kimberly Campbell, RN, and Olcay Y. Jones, MD, PhD, teamed up with the Office of Command Communications at WRNMMC and the Defense Health Agency’s Web & Mobile Technology Programs Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to create an app.
This Pediatric to Adult Care app guides patients through some basic and more advanced preparations, education, and confidence-building via an interactive, game-like experience.
Previously here on iMedicalApps, we had high praise for two apps from the Defense Health Agency moniker including their DHA Opioid app, and the contraception app, Decide + Be Ready. For years, I have been a fan of the behavioral health apps created by the mobile technology group (T2) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Their apps are targeted for both patients and providers and cover topics ranging from depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and resiliency.
One of the most popular apps they have released to date has been T2 Mood Tracker. All of the apps from this group are outstanding examples of apps that can be prescribed to patients during an encounter and use by patients with follow-up appointments with their primary care and/or behavioral health provider.
The DHA PACT app contains useful checklists, questionnaires, and medical resources curated by pediatric subspecialists at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The app is expert opinion based with no references provided for the checklists/questionnaires though they have high face validity. The included medical resources for patients to use are excellent although some will require a subscription.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and any provider who treats adolescents should have this app and prescribe it to their patients.
o Built-in checklists and questionnaires easy to follow/complete and very useful to patients
o Ability for patients to create a unique pin for protection of medical information
o Available for Android
o Game function may still not be advanced enough for savvy pediatric patients
o Links to some medical resources require a subscription
o May have limited generalizability due to DHA/MHS origins
The new Pediatric to Adult Care Transition (PACT) app from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) provides a unique approach to an area of patient care that likely is easily neglected for busy primary care providers. For the first time, pediatric patients have a resource designed just for them to help them “get ready” for adult care and independent medical decision making. Certainly recommendable to all pediatric/primary care providers despite its somewhat limited generalizability as parts of the app are for beneficiaries of the military health system.
o 4.5 stars
o 4.0 stars
Interface is intuitive and works like a “game” for patients to make progress in the app by completing tasks embedded in the app and/or assigned by their provider/team.
o 4.5 stars
App has an “onboard” checklist, progress circle, built-in questionnaires, and links to healthcare resources/medical libraries.
o 5 stars
App is free!
o 4.5 stars
A great app to prescribe to your pediatric patients to assist them with the transition to adult care. The app’s interactive/”game-like” aspects should help with acceptance to a patient population quite familiar with mobile devices. The only “drawback” is that some of the resources are specific to the military healthcare system, but the basic concepts, checklist/game, and questionnaires will work for any pediatric patient.
Device Used For Review
o iPhone 8S running iOS 12.4.1
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.