Mobile Apps for Older Adults: Systematic Search and Evaluation Within Online Stores

Portenhauser, Alexandra A and Terhorst, Yannik and Schultchen, Dana and Sander, Lasse B and Denkinger, Michael D and Stach, Michael and Waldherr, Natalie and Dallmeier, Dhayana and Baumeister, Harald and Messner, Eva-Maria (2021) Mobile Apps for Older Adults: Systematic Search and Evaluation Within Online Stores. JMIR Aging, 4 (1). e23313. ISSN 2561-7605

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Background: Through the increasingly aging population, the health care system is confronted with various challenges such as expanding health care costs. To manage these challenges, mobile apps may represent a cost-effective and low-threshold approach to support older adults. Objective: This systematic review aimed to evaluate the quality, characteristics, as well as privacy and security measures of mobile apps for older adults in the European commercial app stores. Methods: In the European Google Play and App Store, a web crawler systematically searched for mobile apps for older adults. The identified mobile apps were evaluated by two independent reviewers using the German version of the Mobile Application Rating Scale. A correlation between the user star rating and overall rating was calculated. An exploratory regression analysis was conducted to determine whether the obligation to pay fees predicted overall quality. Results: In total, 83 of 1217 identified mobile apps were included in the analysis. Generally, the mobile apps for older adults were of moderate quality (mean 3.22 SD 0.68). Four mobile apps (5%) were evidence-based; 49% (41/83) had no security measures. The user star rating correlated significantly positively with the overall rating (r=.30, P=.01). Obligation to pay fees could not predict overall quality. Conclusions: There is an extensive quality range within mobile apps for older adults, indicating deficits in terms of information quality, data protection, and security precautions, as well as a lack of evidence-based approaches. Central databases are needed to identify high-quality mobile apps.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aging, apps, MARS, MARS-G, MHealth, mobile apps, older adults
Subjects: DBIS Research > Publications
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science > Institute of Databases and Informations Systems > DBIS Research and Teaching > DBIS Research > Publications
Depositing User: Michael Stach
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 16:53
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 16:53

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