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DI-008 Apps for paediatric dosing – an evaluation
  1. E Giger,
  2. P Vonbach
  1. Division of Pharmacy, University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract

Background The website www.kinderdosierungen.ch provides health professionals with paediatric dosages. To increase usability, we aimed to develop a mobile app. Many apps containing paediatric dosages are already available on the market.

Purpose As we are interested to see if the available apps are safe to use in daily practice and to identify areas for possible improvement, we evaluated their quality and content.

Material and methods The Internet, Apple app store and Google play were screened for apps focusing on paediatric dosages. The apps found were analysed according to criteria, including age, costs and number of active ingredients. For a more indepth evaluation, apps with a dosage calculator and either more than 70 active ingredients or a calculator specific for preterm infants were selected and assessed according to the following main categories: quality/content, quantity, calculator, features, usability and additional professional information.

Results Of the 43 apps evaluated, more than a third (n = 15) were available for free. Nearly half of the apps (n = 19) contained 20–100 active ingredients, while approximately 25% contained more than 100 active ingredients. 18 apps (40%) fulfilled our criteria for further evaluation. With a maximum possible score of 30, the highest score reached was 20 (Safe Dose, Epocrates and Lexicomp), followed by 18 (AGN Emergency Booklet) and 17 (Peds Meds). The app Safe Dose ranked first in the category features and second in quality/content and additional professional information. Epocrates ranked third in all categories with the exception of the calculator feature, which received a low rank. Lexicomp was top in the categories quality/content, quantity and additional professional information but scored poorly with regards to usability and calculator function. Importantly, regarding the lowest ranked apps, none was identified that would be dangerous to use.

Conclusion There is room for improvement for paediatric dosing apps, especially regarding integration of preterm infant calculations into apps that are not specifically designed for neonatology. Prior to using an app, a short evaluation is recommended as the appropriate app depends on the contents and features that are important for the user.

No conflict of interest.

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