Welcome to the BATLab’s Weekly Lit Review, where every week we post peer-reviewed papers relevant to our research projects.
This week, take a look at this interesting paper published in JMIR in 2015:
Key words: mHealth, HIV, mobile apps, user-centered design
Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct an ecological review of the existing apps for PLWH and to compare the functionality of existing apps with the app specifications identified in our formative work.
Methods: We searched two mobile app stores (Google Play and iTunes) and found a total of 5606 apps. We reviewed the apps, narrowed our search terms, and found a total of 112 apps. Of these, we excluded 97 (86.6%) apps that were either not in English (10/112, 8.9%), not HIV focused (32/112, 28.9%), or focused only on HIV prevention (2/112, 7.8%); targeted health care providers (26/112, 23.2%); provided information only on conference schedules and events (7/112, 6.3%), fundraisers (7/112, 6.3%), specific clinics (7/112, 6.3%), international or narrow local resources (3/112, 2.7%); or were identified in the first search but were no longer on the market at the next review (4/112, 3.6%). The 15 apps meeting inclusion criteria were then evaluated for inclusion of the nine functionalities identified in our earlier work.
Results: Of the 15 apps that we included in our final review, none had all of the functionalities that were identified in our formative work. The apps that we identified included the following functionalities: communication with providers and/or peers (4/15, 27%), medication reminders (6/15, 40%), medication logs (7/15, 47%), lab reports (5/15, 33%), pharmacy information (4/15, 27%), resources (7/15, 47%), settings (11/15, 73%), and search function (6/15, 40%). No apps included nutrition or fitness information.
Conclusions: Currently, there are only a small number of apps that have been designed for PLWH to manage their health. Of the apps that are currently available, none have all of the desired functionalities identified by PLWH and experts in our formative research. Findings from this work elucidate the need to develop and evaluate mobile apps that meet PLWH’s desired functional specifications.
This article was written by
- Rebecca Schnall1, RN-BC, MPH, PhD ;
- Jocelyn Patterson Mosley2, MS, MPH ;
- Sarah J Iribarren1, RN, PhD ;
- Suzanne Bakken1,3, RN, PhD ;
- Alex Carballo-Diéguez4, PhD ;
- William Brown III3,4, MA, MPhil, DrPH
Contributors are from:
1Columbia University, School of Nursing, New York, NY, United States
2National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States
3Columbia University, Department of Biomedical Informatics, New York, NY, United States
4HIV Center, Division of Gender, Sexuality and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
Read more here: doi:10.2196/mhealth.4882