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Evaluation of the citizenAID app as an aide-memoire for defence healthcare engagement activity
  1. Simon William James Grant1 and
  2. W T Cooper2
  1. 1 16 Medical Regiment, 144 Parachute Medical Squadron, Colchester, UK
  2. 2 Dale Barracks, 1 Lancs RAP, Chester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Simon William James Grant, 16 Medical Regiment, 144 Parachute Medical Squadron, Colchester CO2 7UT, UK; 7059grant{at}

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The Defence Medical Services (DMS) must remain mindful that training and equipment provided to partner forces (PF) must be delivered in a sustainable manner1 when supporting defence engagement (DE) activity.

The PF tactical medicine (TACMED) course delivered on a DE task in Kenya was based on the DMS Team Medic course but has been adapted to PF operational requirements and their constraints in medical resupply. Students on the TACMED course require an aide-memoire; previously this has been a gifted DMS Team Medic aide-memoire. More recently, PF-delivered courses have not provided students with an aide-memoire due to limitations in reproducing reference materials. The PF currently has no formal medical resupply process and they rely on improvised medical equipment. As the PF takes over the lead on course delivery, a sustainable solution was required in the production of course materials, including aide-memoires.

Despite PF’s resource constraints, there is significant national telecommunications infrastructure. There is no mobile app for the DMS Team Medic or Battlefield Casualty Drills aide-memoires. The DMS has been involved in scoping work relating to the United Nations Buddy First Aid Course, which has an app aide-memoire. However, it uses the MARCH paradigm rather than the <C>ABC paradigm, which is taught throughout the PF and has not yet been adopted as the course of choice for DE. The citizenAID app is the only mobile app aide-memoire which is known to be endorsed by the DMS. The use of the citizenAID app in DE has been described previously,2 but there remains no published literature evaluating its suitability.

The citizenAID programme3 is designed for the general public using improvised medical techniques. It was assessed that the use of the citizenAID app could support PF’s requirements.

Approval was gained prior to deployment to integrate citizenAID throughout the TACMED course, including PowerPoint presentations and practical scenarios. A train-the-trainer package was developed. The app was evaluated by PF students and PF TACMED instructors in a postcourse survey.

During two deployments between January and November 2020, 64 of the 69 (93%) PF TACMED students owned a smart phone. Surveys were completed by 6 PF instructors (100% response rate) and 65 PF students (94% response rate). The results are shown in Table 1.

Table 1

Student and instructor survey results

The results show that the citizenAID app was well received by both students and the instructional faculty and could become a sustainable TACMED aide-memoire. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis evaluating the use of the citizenAID app as an aide-memoire can be found in Table 2.

The citizenAID charity was very open and supportive towards translation and app improvements; however, their assistance was financially constrained. In the country, funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, British High Commission and the Kenyan Ministry of Health to support the changes was explored and unsuccessful.

The DMS should therefore consider the development of an electronic aide-memoire including improvised medical techniques which can be adapted to PF requirements to support DE activity.

Table 2

SWOT analysis of using the citizenAID app as an aide-memoire to the TACMED course

Ethics statements

Patient consent for publication


The authors are grateful to the citizenAID charity, PJHQ J4 Med, Brig Hodgetts (SHA(A)) and the British High Commission (Nairobi) for their support of this project.



  • Contributors SWJG led the changes to the course, conceived and wrote the article. WTC was fundamental to the delivery of changed course implementation. WTC reviewed all aspects of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.