Mobile Apps & Resources: App of the Month

To keep you updated on the go, our ‘app of the month’ highlights one free informational app every month!

Librarian reviewers consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:
 
  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily an app user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria for evidence and usability are embedded in the review.

Please note that the reviewers are not healthcare professionals, and so cannot appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. The reviews are not endorsements.

Click here for the AHS policy on Cell Phones and Other Mobile Devices.

 

 

Med-HF

Reviewers

Rachel Zhao & Pamela Harrison

Version reviewed

2.0

Device & OS used

iPad Air, iOS 10.2.1 & iPhone SE, iOS 10.3.1

Date of review

June 13, 2017

 

 

Image Source: Med-HF, Apple App Store. ​Retrieved on June 24, 2017 from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/med-hf/id559909558?mt=8​ 

App developer

Alberta Health Services’ Cardiovascular Health & Stroke Strategic Clinical Network (SCN)

Contact

medhfmobileapp@ahs.ca (via AHS app site: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/about/mobile.aspx)

Devices

Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch [iOS 8.0+], last updated February 03, 2017

Country of origin

Canada

Size

16.6 MB

Specialties/
Disciplines

Health professionals (especially physicians and pharmacists) working in Cardiology, or with patients at risk of heart failure

Comments

None

 

Stated Purpose

“[S]upports healthcare professionals in the initiation, titration, assessment and monitoring of the 4 drug classes commonly used to treat heart failure: ACEIs/ARBs, Beta-Blockers, Diuretics, Aldosterone Antagonists. Developed by Alberta Health Services in collaboration with the CCS, it guides users through evidence-based algorithms and recommends appropriate actions and considerations based on 2011 CCS Heart Failure Guidelines.” (Source: Canadian Cardiovascular Society (n.d.) Apps. Retrieved on June 13, 2017.)

 

Notes

 

None

 

 

Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

No editorial committee mentioned. The app was developed by the Alberta Cardiovascular Health & Stroke Strategic Clinical Network (SCN).  

Entries are not dated. The copyright statement when opening the app reads 2012. Although the most recent update is listed as Feb 03, 2017, the References section includes HF Algorithms from April 2012. However, HF guidelines from CCS (listed on the CCS site at https://www.ccs.ca/en/guidelines/guidelines-library) were last published in 2013, with a Compendium, (2006-13) released in 2014.

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

No additional authorship information provided. Evidence syntheses do not provide in-text citations. There are links to external sources in Information > References. Within the app, the link to HF CCS Guidelines is broken (that is, it leads to an incorrect page). 

Organization of information

Content is grouped into 4 sections:

- General approach (Algorithm for prevention and treatment of clinically stable heart failure), provided in a single- screen overview
- Drug Information is divided into 4 major drug types: ACEIS/ARBS, Beta-blockers, Diuretics, and Aldosterone Antagonists. After selecting a drug type, the user selects information on initiation, titration, or monitoring
- Dosing information for each drug type, including initial dose, target dose, and dosage forms, provided in a single-screen overview
- Information, linking out to references (requiring Internet connection); also includes pearls and acronyms (available offline)

Navigation

Drug information is structured to allow quick, case-specific navigation: the user proceeds down a customized pathway to find specific information
General approach and Dosing tabs provide a one- look overview of information
Some screens will ask users yes/no questions about patients, to guide initiation, titration, or monitoring

Internet connection required for use: No; Text search field: No; Browsable content: No; Advertisements: No; Pop-up advertisements: No; In-app purchases: No

 

 

The Information section includes links to Heart Failure Information for Patients (under References), pearls, and a list of acronyms

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Nursing Best Practice Guidelines App

Reviewers

Rachel Zhao & Pamela Harrison

Version reviewed:

3.1.0

Device & OS used:

iPad Air, iOS 10.2.1 & iPhone SE, iOS 10.3.1

Date of review:

April 24, 2017

 

 

Image Source: Nursing Best Practice Guidelines App, Google Play. ​Retrieved on May 11, 2017 from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.rnao.bpg_app&hl=en

App developer

Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Contact

http://rnao.ca/bpg/contact; mwatson@rnao.ca

Devices

Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch [iOS 6.0+], last updated October 27, 2016

 

Android, [Android 4.1+], last updated October 25, 2016

Country of origin

Canada

Size

61.6 MB

Specialties/
Disciplines

Multiple specialties: gerontology, primary care,home health care, mental health care, emergency care, and healthy work environments in Nursing

Comments

Includes guidelines applicable to all specialties (e.g. patient & family centered care, client-centered learning, care transitions, and therapeutic relationships)

 

Stated Purpose

“[T]o support [Ontario] nurses by providing them with practice guidelines that will enable them to provide the best quality of care to their clients. These guidelines are supported by up to date, evidence based research.” (source: Google Play listing / App Store listing)

Notes

 

The app provides guideline summaries. Full guidelines are available online.
This app is not selling an external product or service.

 

 

Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

Editorial committee assessment is not applicable here. The dates of the guidelines are visible only in grid view, and legible only on larger (tablet) devices. A consistent evidence grading system is used for practice recommendations.

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

App provides access to condensed version of the guidelines. Levels of evidence rating provided in the app. Users must leave app and access full guidelines online for detailed evidence and authorship information.

Organization of information

Table of Contents within guidelines allows user to skip to relevant sections easily.Browsing available guidelines in grid view (instead of in list view) allows users to retrieve guidelines without knowledge of exact terminology.

Navigation

Selection of guideline summaries is simplest in grid view, but may require scrolling across a horizontal list (depending on device display size). Navigating within the guideline summaries is simplified by the table to contents. The link back to the table of contents is always present at the top of the screen.However, returning to the table of contents will bring you back to the top of the list, so you will have to scroll down again.

Internet connection required for use: Yes; Text search field: Yes; Browsable content: Yes; Advertisements: No; Pop-up advertisements: No; In-app purchases: No

 

 

Additional features (e.g. assessment forms and scales) are listed in the guideline summary’s table of contents. These may be in full-text, or hyperlinked.

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Spectrum

Reviewers

Marcus Vaska & Pamela Harrison

Version reviewed:

2.1

Device & OS used:

iPad, iOS 10.2.1 & iPhone SE, iOS 10.3.1

Date of review:

April 22, 2017

 

 

Image Source: Spectrum, Google Play. ​Retrieved on May 11, 2017 from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spectrum&hl=en​

App developer

Spectrum Mobile Health Inc.

Antimicrobial stewardship working group: Paul Campsall, Vikas Chaubey, John Conly, Bruce Dalton, Daniel Gregson, Barry Kushner, Bayan Missaghi, Elizabeth Parfitt, Steve Vaughan, Danny Zuege

Contact

http://spectrum.md/;
support@spectrum.md

Devices

Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch [iOS 8.0+], last updated February 18, 2017

 

Android, [Android 4.1+], last updated February 7, 2017

Country of origin

Canada

Size

6.9 MB

Specialties/
Disciplines

Healthcare workers involved in antimicrobial stewardship

Comments

Includes information applicable to multiple professions (e.g. pharmacists, intensivists, infectious disease specialists)

 

Stated Purpose

Customizable decision support app that uses algorithmic format to “deliver local antimicrobial stewardship resources”  including:

  • Local guidelines
  • Local resistance data
  • Local epidemiology
  • Pathogen information
  • Antimicrobial information
  • ID consult requests

(Source: app website: http://Spectrum.md)

Notes

This app is not selling an external product or service.

 

 

Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

Antimicrobial Stewardship Working Group names provided, but without affiliations

Transparency of evidence is lacking: no dates for content updates, apart from App Store/Google Play listing information

No evidence grading.

However, the app website lists the following  endorsements (Source: spectrum.md):

  • Calgary implementation received a LEADing practice award form Canada Health InfoWay and Accreditation Canada
  • Trusted by Alberta Health Services, Providence Health Care, and IWK Health Centre

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

Entries do not provide source information; quality must be inferred from endorsements (see above), and membership of Antimicrobial Stewardship Working Group

Organization of information     

Intuitive organization of information allows users to easily scan points and icons for relevant information

Navigation

Information is structured in algorithmic format to allow quick, case-specific navigation: the user proceeds down a customized pathway to find specific information

 

Some screens will ask users to patient characteristics (e.g. age range, measurements, previous infections) or setting features (e.g. long term care, acute care) to deliver customized information

Internet connection required for use: No; Text search field: No; Browsable content: Yes; Advertisements: No; Pop-up advertisements: No; In-app purchases: No

 

 

Checklists gather information to provide user with customized care pathway information, using algorithmic format

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