CDC’s Milestone Tracker App
CDC’s Milestone Tracker App
This mobile health application is called Milestone Tracker App.
The app was created and developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s). Dr. Rosa Arriaga and Georgia Institute of Technology students, based in Atalanta, Georgia contributed significantly in developing the mobile application through the ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early’ program run by the CDC. This program was designed to facilitate the early detection of autism and other developmental challenges in children and promote early interventions by accessing treatment early. The application is maintained by the CDC, which makes regular updates to enhance its user-friendliness and expand its capabilities.
Milestone Tracker App has been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This federal agency is in charge of ensuring the protection of public health in the United States and influences many public health policies beyond the country’s national borders. The application has also been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This professional association of pediatricians focuses on disseminating verified scientific evidence on pediatric healthcare standards and practices because it runs the largest pediatric publishing program globally, which influences public policy targeting the children’s health wellbeing.
The application is designed to be used on the mobile platform. This helps the CDC realize its intention of enabling as many people as possible to obtain valuable information about their children’s developmental milestones though their mobile phones, which have permeated the contemporary society.
Milestone Tracker App is designed to be user friendly because it is meant to be used by individuals and groups that have minimal digital skills and technical knowhow. It is easily navigable using icons and images and contains videos that help users identify critical pediatric milestones.
The purpose of the mobile application is to help parents track their children’s developmental milestones, identify when the children are developing suboptimally, and facilitating them to access early intervention for their children’s developmental challenges.
Clinical Decision Making
The mobile application promotes the clinical decision-making participation of the children’s parents and caregivers. However, the ultimate clinical decision is vested on the healthcare professionals, collaborating with the pediatric health stakeholders.
The application presents concerns about harming patients and caregivers by exposing their personal identifiable information and that of their children. Such information can be used by fraudsters to harm children.
The CDC commits to protect the privacy of children and their parents and caregivers by not collecting and sharing any personal information.
This mobile application targets parents and caregivers of children between the ages of 2 months and 5 years. It can also be used by early care providers, pediatric educators, healthcare providers, and family services providers, such s social workers, and the like.
This mobile application is designed to be used within and beyond the United States. This is because it is available for downloading on Google Play for android devices and App Store for Apple devices. These stores are available to anyone that has internet connectivity. In addition, the application is available for free, indicating that it is intended to be used by all the stakeholder of the young children of up to 5 years.
The application employs and disburses credible information derived from peer-reviewed publications of scientific studies. The sources of information include the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which are credible federal agencies and professional bodies.
The mobile application is current because it has current updates to improve the user experience and broaden the benefits. For instance, its latest update was released in March 2022, fixing a bug that was causing the app to crash, updating milestones, and introducing two new milestone checklists spanning 15 and 30 months.
Part 3: CDC’s Milestone Tracker App Critical Appraisal
The example of a clinical scenario involving the application of Milestone Tracker App involving a one-and-a-half year old called Mendez, who does not respond to her name or display emotions through facial expressions.
Patient Age Population
The age population addressed in this example is pediatric, in which the patient is in the infancy stage, whose age ranges between 4 week and one year.
The clinical setting is a private practice facility. Mendez’s parents have consulted a private pediatric health practitioner for the growth and development concerns of their daughter.
History of Present Illness and Diagnosis or Condition
Mendez was born through natural delivery and met all the expectations of a normal new born. She started suckling as expected and her weight gain has been normal. Consequently, all physical growth and development milestones were achieved for the first 12 months. For instance, Mendez can sit without assistance, assume a hands-and-knees position, crawl, and stand with assistance. Similarly, Mendez can hold items in her hand firmly using the pincer grip, and even walk along while holding onto furniture. However, by her first birthday, Mendez was still unable to recognize her name and did not display any emotion. Later on at her current age of 1 ½ years, she does not show any emotion towards other people, apart from crying when hungry and in pain, despite appearing to recognize her parents. She also does not seem to recognize her two siblings aged 3 and 6 years.
The private pediatric practitioner suspects the onset of autism after reviewing Mendez’s growth and development milestones. However, the practitioner considers that this could be a case of late development, which is common among a small fraction of the infant population. Therefore, he advices further observations and diagnosis, and encourages Mendez’s parents to monitor Mendez’s growth and development milestones more loosely and regularly report back.
Detailed Description of the Milestone Tracker App
The Milestone Tracker Application is well suited for tracking Mendez’s growth and development milestones, informing Mendez’s parents on the anomalies to look out for, and sharing information with the pediatric practitioners for further clinical diagnosis and advice. It complies to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the federal law setting national standards for protecting confidential patient health information (Flaherty, 2014; Guadarrama, 2018). The pediatric practitioner advised Mendez’s parent to download and use Milestone Tracker Application, as has been the practice among physicians, in their promotion for mobile health applications (Cook et al., 2016). The pediatric health practitioner advocates for mobile health applications because they enable him to conveniently attend to more patients (Gagnon et al., 2016).
The application will be implemented immediately by the Mendez’s parents following the downloading assistance from the pediatric practitioner. This application will help Mendez’s parents to track Mendez’s growth and development milestones and report back to the pediatrician and facilitate a clinical diagnosis and interventions. The application is user-friendly and relevant because it informs Mendez’s parents about what to look out for at given stages using videos and pictures, which are critical features for a well-designed mobile health application (Gagnon et al., 2016). It also uses Spanish, a language the parents understand. Consequently, Milestone Tracker Application will help Mendez’s parents and the pediatric professional confirm whether Mendez is becoming
Cook, V. E., Ellis, A. K., & Hildebrand, K. J. (2016). Mobile health applications in clinical practice: pearls, pitfalls, and key considerations. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 117(2), 143-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2016.01.012
Flaherty, J. L. (2014). Digital diagnosis: Privacy and the regulation of mobile phone health applications. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 40, 416-441.
Gagnon, M. P., Ngangue, P., Payne-Gagnon, J., & Desmartis, M. (2016). m-Health adoption by healthcare professionals: a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 23(1), 212-220. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocv052
Guadarrama, A. (2018). Mind the Gap: Addressing Gaps in HIPAA Coverage in the Mobile Health Apps Industry. Houston Law Review, 55(4), 999-1025.