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App Review: Detecting Dementia & Educating Patients with ALZ Pocketcard

As the number of patients with dementia continues to grow, the primary care physician (PCP) will likely have an increasingly important role in disease management and coordination of care.

That's because the PCP is most likely the first healthcare provider to observe possible dementia in patients, and he or she may often be the only physician involved in making the diagnosis. It is important for clinicians to remain alert for possible signs of declining cognitive function in older patients and to evaluate mental status in patients who appear to be having problems performing daily activities.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Pocketcard App is a free app to help clinicians assess cognition more efficiently at the point-of-care. The app integrates reliable information, interactive assessment tools, and patient education material. ALZ Pocketcard App provides the latest information on detection, diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease, including pharmacotherapy guidelines and non-pharmacologic strategies.

Interactive tools help detect possible cognitive impairment, functional decline, depression and vascular impairment. Some of the assessment tools available within the app are the Mini-Cog™, Clock Drawing Test, Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam (SLUMS), Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), and an Annual Wellness Visit algorithm developed by national experts.

The ALZ Pocketcard app was developed by the Alzheimer’s Association® in collaboration with Borm Bruckmeier.


Clinical information on diagnosis and disease management is organized into “chapters” within the app. For example, a user can tap on the chapter for the latest Diagnostic Criteria and Differential Diagnosis to view this information at a glance.

Another handy section is a review section on the Most Common Causes of Dementia. The screens are vibrant and content is well organized, making information easy to locate and read simply by scrolling or swiping back and forth between topic and sub-topics.

A navigation menu at the top of the device also makes it easy to move between topics and features within the app. A Home button brings the user back to the main menu. Quick links on the Home screen take the user directly to interactive tools. Tapping the PDF icon allows the user to see a complete overview of the tool they are currently using.

Other navigation features within the app allow for bookmarking and saving personal notes, which can be pulled-up at anytime by tapping the icon in the bottom navigation bar. Apple users can back-up notes and bookmarks to iCloud.

The History button makes it easy to see what a user has previously reviewed and to return to information quickly and easily.

Summary of Features

  • Top 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Instructional videos depict assessment and diagnostic disclosure of AD between a physician and patient
  • Current diagnostic criteria (including differential diagnosis), based on DSM-5® and the updated diagnostic criteria and guidelines for AD from the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association
  • Professional and Patient Resources provide education/support packets (PDF brochures) from the Alzheimer’s Association. Without leaving the app, these resources can be e-mailed directly to patients and caregivers. Topic sheets are available in both English and Spanish.
  • Sign-up option for the In-Brief newsletter to receive updates and guidelines on patient care.
  • Bookmarking and notes capability; ability to adjust font size within the app.
  • Index and full text search
  • Send feedback or receive technical support from within the app.


Related App

An app validated for community screenings for Cognitive Assessment of Dementia, CADi2 is available on the iTunes store but, as of January 2015, is only produced in the Japanese language.

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