Assessing Patient-Oriented Mobile Medical Apps in the Area of Gynaecology
Keywords:App, Menstrual cycle, Ovulation, Fertility, Pregnancy
Introduction: Matters related to fertility, reproduction, and pregnancy have always prompted high anxiety levels among the female population. The development of mobile technology has provided these patients with the possibility to gain access to mobile medical apps in gynaecology, thus raising their awareness of the physiological changes their bodies undergo throughout the transition from puberty to late menopause. Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify mobile medical apps that provide comprehensive information based on evidence for female patients seeking facts and data on the natural processes a woman's body is subjected to during reproductive life. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in the period 1-20 July. A search was conducted on the "Google play web" (Android app store) page by using the following keywords: menstrual cycle, fertility, ovulation, and pregnancy. Only the applications available in English were deemed eligible. Each application was analyzed by considering its general features (country of origin/ranking/download count). Subsequently, the applications were assessed using the criteria: interactivity, functionality, esthetics, contents, benefits, and evidence-based aspects. Results: We evaluated eighty-five English apps which were retrieved from "Google play web". All the assessed medical applications can easily be used by both the gynaecologist and the patients (access to such applications is intuitive and user-friendly). Each application includes the minimal information required to enhance the quality of life of the patients. None of the analyzed mobile medical apps meets all the criteria to be considered evidence-based. Conclusion: Despite their appealing design and information presented in a manner that captures the patients' attention, none of the evaluated applications can be regarded as an evidence-based mobile medical app.
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