Medical Application Critical Appraisal

← Technology and Policing

Part 1

Nursing informatics skills are essential for meeting patient healthcare needs. However, the evolution of technology, specifically, the introduction of smartphones, has promoted the overall development of nursing informatics skills. Therefore, the task focuses on the mobile application, CDC Milestone Tracker. The paper will examine the tracker’s impact on clinical nursing practice and the broader implementation of mhealth.

The Medical App appraisal concerns the operation, authors, name, endorsement, credibility, and purpose. An appropriate patient situation requiring using the application will be explored. Therefore, the CDC Milestone Tracker represents the emergence of mhealth as the next phase of the rapidly changing healthcare system in the United States.

Mobile applications, such as CDC Milestone Tracker, capture critical information necessary for healthcare promotion, improving patient outcomes. The reports generated from the app serve as guidelines for a provider intervention.

Part 2

The Application Is Known as the CDC Milestone Tracker


Authorship of the app was exceptional. CDC (2020) explains that “The CDC Milestone Tracker was created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.” Therefore, CDC equally developed and maintained it. Usually, the CDC develops interventions and guidelines to improve patient awareness and active participation in healthcare and welfare (CDC, 2020). The incentive equally targets the entire population through education on crucial elements of care.


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The CDC Milestone Tracker is endorsed by the Food and Drug Association (FDA) as an actual application for consistently determining a child's growth patterns. Equally, the app has the support of the computing for Good students at the George Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia (CDC, 2020). The students, along with Dr. Rosa Arriaga, played a critical role in developing the application, hence their endorsement.


The application is more suitable for the mobile platform because it aims to help parents and guardians track their children's growth and development daily. Therefore, since mobile smartphones are handled every day, it makes sense more sense to have the application in the mobile format.


The information is displayed in a format that is easy to navigate and read. For instance, the spacing of the words is perfect for ensuring the reader does not strain when reading. The font is also okay. Furthermore, the application has short videos and photographs to complement the typed message, thus promoting an in-depth understanding of the child's developmental stages (CDC, 2020). In essence, by complementing words with images and videos, a user of the application does not need guidelines or instructions.


The CDC Milestone Tracker is meant to help a parent or guardian track the growth and development of a child from the age of two months to five years. Therefore, the application users can find easy-to-use illustrated checklists provided by the CDC. Parents and guardians tips from the CDC for encouraging proper child development. Furthermore, users are equally guided on what to do if they have concerns from the checklist based on their development noted from the child. For instance, a child must be able to play, speak, act, and move at age five. The photos and videos found in the app illustrate each milestone, thus easy tracking.

Clinical Decision-Making

The CDC Milestone Tracker plays an instrumental role in clinical decisions by identifying issues during a child's development and recommending the next course of action for the kid. Fundamentally, recommendations from the milestone tracker influence the intervention to correct a child's behavior and ensure it corresponds with the expected outcome (CDC, 2020). CDC (2020) observes that information collected determine when to approach a care provider and explain the concerns. Upon communicating the concerns, the care provider will determine when Decisions on developmental screening and necessary activities are appropriate.


The application does not have the potential to harm the user. It has passed the CDC's security and safety check and the FDA safety check (CDC, 2020). Therefore, it safe for use. However, the users are encouraged not to use it since exposure to the smartphone may lead to vision concerns. Primarily, the problem does not involve the direct use of the application.


The application has a privacy statement, which alludes to its collected information. For instance, the application has a statement that "CDC does not collect any person information when you use CDC's digital media from your computer or mobile" (CDC, 2020). The company reiterates that it does not collect personal information. No mention of encryption is communicated while there is scanty information exists on social networks sharing is posed. Nonetheless, the app shares information with third parties since the user may receive information from such parties, although no mention of breach of privacy.


The application is intends to offer critical insights to parents and guardians. This group is deeply engages in monitoring a child’s developmental milestones. They also act as primary caregivers. However, the healthcare provider is also part of the user since he/she can base the next line of actions from the recommendations of the application (CDC, 2020). Necessarily, a nurse or physician can rely on the information to conduct further assessments.

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The application is not primarily intended for local use but wide distribution because it is downloadable in all places in the world, instead of limited availability in the US alone. Anyone can download it, given its availability as a free in iOS and android powered devices (CDC, 2020). Equally, anyone can sign up, and it does not specify the country or region; hence, it implies global distribution.


The sources of information are very credible and involve a compilation and collaboration of many players, which reduces biases. Furthermore, as a globally recognized organization, CDC's data goes through critical assessment validation by experts from the field, as mentioned in the application. In essence, the credibility of the data is unquestionable.


The information on the app is current and features the latest update on the app. For instance, the last update was three months ago. The information provided is consistent with evidence-based research on child development, particularly the milestones, which require parents and guardians to take immediate action once any discrepancy is noted in the course of evolution. Therefore, the information is both updated and relevant.

Part 3

KJ, a three-year-old male, presents to the care hospital facility and his mother. She complains that the patient shows slow learning, weak emotional cues, and inferior physical characteristics compared to his peers. As a pediatric patient, KJ's parents report that he does not show anger even when provoked.

The parent is shocked that the child does not respond to emotional cues and minimally interacts with others, a surprising trend, given his age mates are very active. According to Al Backer (2015), parents often overlook the uniqueness of their child's opposition to interaction with others, defensiveness, and lack of interest in most activities kids find interesting.

Furthermore, the few times, KJ speaks, he states that he believes others will bully him when he interacts with them more often. The patient essentially reveals the inability to interpret other's tone, facial expressions, and gestures, thus poor nonverbal communication.

The patient's history is consistent with minimal interaction with others since when he was around two-years-old. Furthermore, there is a significant element of withdrawal, defensiveness, and inability to make friends. Based on KJ's history and current symptoms, he is autistic, a condition, which has impaired achievement of developmental milestones.

Although the decision to seek help is belated, it is critical that following the recommendations from the care provider, the parent takes note of the behavior and interactions of the patient, KJ. Since the application is easily accessible using a smartphone, the patient's parent will identify recommendations and essential information necessary to improve KJ's situation.

The implementation of the application will be immediate, implying its introduction will occur at the hospital, the point of care. It is crucial to start monitoring future developments right from the facility, given the significant delay in reporting the autism spectrum disorder. The patient has been suffering from a while (Al Backer, 2015). Mainly, the patient's mother will use the app and document the trail of events happening to KJ.

The CDC Milestone Tracker will play a critical role in KJ's recovery efforts by notifying the mother whether the patient is making progress based on the monitoring reports. Furthermore, the app will also lead to a prompt appointment with the care provider, unlike in the previous case where KJ's mother sought a doctor's input late. In essence, the implementation must be immediate to fast-track any changes.


CDC Milestone Tracker is essential in developing the necessary information to guide during the diagnosis and the path to patient recovery. Therefore, since the application is installed on the user's smartphone, it is convenient to obtain reports and critical data about the patient's behavioral changes and redirect specific interventions. The user's constant interaction with his/her phone is advantageous for the cause to help the patient. Furthermore, the CDC Milestone Tracker does not have a specific location, such as limited to US users; instead, it can be available globally. Therefore, caregivers can use it anywhere to improve the healthcare outcomes for children, such as KJ, who has autism spectrum disorder. Substantially, caregivers must react within the shortest time once the onset of the signs and symptoms is noted.