Endocrinologists are playing a crucial role in solving the most critical health issues of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility and hormone-related cancers.
One century ago (in 1916) a group of physicians interested in expanding field of endocrinology established the Endocrine Society, which is today the world's oldest and largest organization gathering scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.
As the part of their endeavors, the Endocrine Society established the Clinical Practice Guideline Program that publishes periodical clinical practice guidelines to aid endocrinologists and other clinicians in the care of patients with endocrine disorders, with evidence-based recommendations in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of endocrine-related conditions.
Each guideline is created by a task force of topic-related experts in the field, covering different endocrine-related problems including diabetes and pregnancy, menopause, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, hormonal disorders, and many more. These task forces rely on evidence-based reviews of the literature to provide support for the recommendations.
Some of these clinical practice guidelines have been published in a form of free mobile app for Android and iOS that provides a wide range of information sources and tools, focusing primarily on the particular problems of diabetes and obesity.
Upon starting the app, users are taken through the short tour/tutorial on how to use the app, which is optional and can be accessed later from the Info Screen in a form of video or mobile tutorial. However, most users probably won't need it, because the Clinical Practice Guidelines app is straightforward and very easy to use.
The main screen features six main topics included in this app, covering the areas of post-bariatric surgery management, adult hypoglycemic disorders, pharmacological management of obesity, diabetes and pregnancy, prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients at metabolic risk, and management of hyperglycemia in inpatients.
Each of these topics includes an executive summary, i.e. clinical practice guideline synopsis, practical tools, such as calculators, algorithms or diagrams, as well as reference links to resource used or to additional materials.
Executive summaries are featured as a simple table of content format, structured in two tabs that allow users to access written guidelines or practical tools, i.e. calculators. Calculators can be accessed directly, without need to open guideline summary.
Summaries provide information about authors and publication, conclusion of the guidelines, methods of development, considerations regarding other conditions, drug management and treatment recommendations, etc.
Tools tab allows users direct access to practical tools, which include calculators, algorithms, risk scores, and diagrams. Each tool is labeled with capital letters that signify the purpose of the tool. For example C is for calculator/algorithm, S is for risk score, and D is for diagram.
You can use different tools depending on the topic of your interest. For example, you can calculate the diagnostic criteria for overt diabetes and gestational diabetes depending on gestational age, or suggested schedule for labs monitoring after bariatric surgery. You can check diagrams showing different banding procedures during bariatric surgery, or calculate Framingham risk score of cardiovascular disease in diabetes patients or patients at metabolic risk.
Each calculator is easy to use, requiring users to add entries or to choose pre-entered values from the drop down menus. If you're unsure of how to use the tools, each contains abbreviations and footnotes explaining its purpose and algorithm used, with links to resources.
However, I had trouble navigating through the app, not only calculators, but the whole content, because the Back option didn't work properly. For example, if I used particular calculator and wanted to go back to the list of the tools I came from, I would end up in the last viewed chapter instead, sometimes even in the different guideline.
This makes the use of this app quite difficult and it should be fixed in some future update. I overcame this problem by bookmarking certain chapters and calculators, adding them to Favorites section for easier access. I'd suggest users do the same until the fix shows up. You can also use search that looks up for content by index or full text.
Clinical Practice Guidelines app also allows users to add notes about certain parts of the content or calculators and view them later in Notes section.
The Endocrine Society guidelines don't provide exhaustive information, but rather concise recommendations useful at the point of care. All recommendations provided in the app are evidence-based and well-referenced, linking to the resources outside the app, so you'd have to access them using your phone browser.
Not so user friendly navigation is my only complaint regarding Clinical Practice Guidelines app. Its main purpose, which is bringing the authoritative and evidence-based guidelines at the point of care, is what makes it a definite tool for endocrinologists and other clinicians in the care of patients with endocrine disorders, particularly with diabetes and obesity.
Benefit: Endocrinologists and other providers in the care of patients with endocrine disorders