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.
View the AHS policy on Mobile Wireless Devices and Services.
Image Source: TREKK, Apple App Store. Retrieved on March 12, 2020 from: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/trekk-ca/id1301539532
Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) is a national network working to improve children’s emergency care across Canada (1). Its mission is for TREKK to be the trusted source for easy access to the latest evidence, best practices, user-friendly resources and discussions in pediatric emergency care (2). The app and the website provide a user-friendly directory of links of existing online resources, with a preference for free materials (3).
The app primarily functions as a directory as the vast majority of content requires users to link out to the web for access to materials. PDF copies are sometimes available for download within the app itself, but there are no traditional written entries. Some content appears to be created by TREKK or its affiliates, while the app also links to resources created by other organizations. In addition to PDF documents and internet resources, the app also links to relevant Podcast episodes.
It should be noted that the list of topics covered is not exhaustive but appears to represent common pediatric conditions.
According to the 6.2 version release notes, effort is being made to improve the “provision of instant, offline TREKK content on the mobile app” so that users do not have to rely on connectivity to access content (1). The TREKK.ca team can now send important update notifications directly to the app. As of the time of review, online only content was still available throughout in app.
The customization features on this app are limited, however, the app does retain a record of previously downloaded files. French language options are available for some resources. Sharing is integrated within the app, where users can share a PDF or link to various social media platforms, their device contacts or email content to themselves. These features will likely vary depending on the device used.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Any health professional involved in pediatric emergency care, as well as child health researchers
App’s description states that it can also be used by patients and families.
Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading
The creators of app are reputable in regard to their affiliations and expertise. However, content advisory members are not listed on every entry. The app does not utilize any grading system, although the TREKK website states that resources are selected based on the knowledge pyramid framework and that “Bottom Line Recommendations” are based on key studies found at the top of the pyramid (highest level of evidence).
Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries
Since the app functions primarily as a directory, it is difficult to accurately assess the quality of the resources linked, especially if links are broken. In most cases, only a brief description, sometimes a sentence or two, is provided on the resource available for download or linked. Some entries do not have a description at all and just display the links. The app would greatly benefit from providing more information to its users about each resource available.
Organization of information
The organization of the app is simple and intuitive, however, there are no descriptions on the home page of what type of information each section of the app contains. The following is a list of sections:
The navigation used in the app is a simple hierarchy. Users click on a main section on the home page, and the subjects contained in each section are listed alphabetically. The specific entries themselves include a link to either download materials or link out to an external website (or both). A back button and home menu are provided throughout the app to navigate other parts of the app.
User Account required: No
Internet connection required for use: Yes - Links to online resources require internet or data connection.
Text search field: Yes - A section of the app must first be selected before text search is made available.
Pop-up advertisements: No
In-app purchases: No
Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Requires iOS 9.0 or later. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pedstrekk/id1301539532
Last updated (as per App store listing): December 19, 2019
Windows mobile (all platforms); Active Sync 4.0 or later (Win XP or earlier)
Android tablets and smartphones. The App would appear to be compatible with any/all Android devices that have the operating system specifications required. Requires Android 4.4 and up. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trekk&pcampaignid=MKT-Other-global-all-co-prtnr-py-PartBadge-Mar2515-1
Last updated (as per Google Play listing): December 19, 2019
11.6 MB (iOS); 12MB (Android)
TREKK.ca; Greg Van de Mosselaer listed as developer in Google Play store
Country of Origin
TREKK’s website contact page lists the email of Executive Director (Lisa Knisley) as the main point of contact. Also lists email for TREKK’s Communication Coordinator (Emma Hill)
TREKK Administrative Office:
Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
John Buhler Research Centre
512E-715 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P4