Introducing GeriKit: A Geriatric Assessment Toolkit
By 2050, the number of older adults in the United States is projected to increase considerably, which mirrors trends in other developed countries.
What does this mean? All clinicians, not just geriatric specialists, will be working with more older adults, and will need to be familiar with elements of the comprehensive geriatric assessment (which includes domains such as cognitive impairment, physical function, and polypharmacy). To meet this rising need, the elements of geriatric assessment need to be readily available for students, trainees (interns, residents, fellows), and practicing clinicians to help them better serve their patients.
Technological innovation has made a universe of information accessible on our smartphones and tablet computers, but this information is often not organized in an easily usable way. In our review of available products focused on geriatric assessment, we found that many either focused on only a single domain (e.g. cognition), were time-intensive to use, or had components that existed behind a paywall.
We started thinking– what if we created an app to educate clinicians and trainees on all aspects of comprehensive geriatric assessment, provided it for free, and used it to help people take better care of older adults? Out of these conversations came the idea for GeriKit.
We have now released GeriKit in Apple’s App Store, and an Android version is under development. In brief, GeriKit is a geriatric assessment app that is:
- A “one-stop” app to facilitate geriatric assessment by students, trainees, and practicing clinicians
- Linked to original source materials to enable education on fundamental principles of geriatrics
- Created by practicing clinicians with broad expertise in geriatric assessment
- Simple and interactive for the user
In its current version, GeriKit includes resources to assess the following domains: cognition, depression, function, strength, fall risk, nutrition, polypharmacy, and advance care planning. We are collecting user feedback on other domains that may be worth incorporating in future versions.
Currently, GeriKit is available here in the App Store, and will be available soon in the Google Play store.
Ambika Viswanathan is a 2nd-year medical student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. This summer, Ambika was a Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program scholar at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where she helped to develop GeriKit in collaboration with Dr. Nina Blachman and Dr. John Dodson.