Mobile Apps for the Management of Gastrointestinal Diseases: Systematic Search and Evaluation Within App Stores

Messner, Eva-Maria and Sturm, Niklas and Terhorst, Yannik and Sander, Lasse B and Schultchen, Dana and Portenhauser, Alexandra and Schmidbaur, Simone and Stach, Michael and Klaus, Jochen and Baumeister, Harald and Walter, Benjamin M (2022) Mobile Apps for the Management of Gastrointestinal Diseases: Systematic Search and Evaluation Within App Stores. J Med Internet Res, 24 (10). e37497.

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Official URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/36197717


Background: Gastrointestinal diseases are associated with substantial cost in health care. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic and further digitalization of gastrointestinal tract health care, mobile health apps could complement routine health care. Many gastrointestinal health care apps are already available in the app stores, but the quality, data protection, and reliability often remain unclear. Objective: This systematic review aimed to evaluate the quality characteristics as well as the privacy and security measures of mobile health apps for the management of gastrointestinal diseases. Methods: A web crawler systematically searched for mobile health apps with a focus on gastrointestinal diseases. The identified mobile health apps were evaluated using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS). Furthermore, app characteristics, data protection, and security measures were collected. Classic user star rating was correlated with overall mobile health app quality. Results: The overall quality of the mobile health apps (N=109) was moderate (mean 2.90, SD 0.52; on a scale ranging from 1 to 5). The quality of the subscales ranged from low (mean 1.89, SD 0.66) to good (mean 4.08, SD 0.57). The security of data transfer was ensured only by 11 (10.1%) mobile health apps. None of the mobile health apps had an evidence base. The user star rating did not correlate with the MARS overall score or with the individual subdimensions of the MARS (all P\textgreater.05). Conclusions: Mobile health apps might have a positive impact on diagnosis, therapy, and patient guidance in gastroenterology in the future. We conclude that, to date, data security and proof of efficacy are not yet given in currently available mobile health apps.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:systematic review, MARS, app, app quality, gastrointestinal, gastrointestinal diseases, mHealth, mobile app, Mobile Application Rating Scale, mobile health
Subjects:DBIS Research > Publications
ID Code:2133
Deposited By: Michael Stach
BibTex Export:BibTeX
Deposited On:14 Nov 2022 13:51
Last Modified:14 Nov 2022 13:51

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