JOURNAL ARTICLE

Smart phone applications as a source of information on stroke

Divyanshu Dubey, Amod Amritphale, Anshudha Sawhney, Nupur Amritphale, Pradeep Dubey, Ambarish Pandey
Journal of Stroke 2014, 16 (2): 86-90
24949314

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Smartphone applications have been increasingly identified as a novel platform for dissemination of healthcare related information. However, there have been no studies done to evaluate the availability and content of stroke related apps.

PURPOSE: This study aims to identify and analyze stroke-related applications available on the Apple iTunes and Android Google Play Store.

METHODS: The Apple iTunes store and Android Google Play Store were searched for stroke-related applications on July 27, 2013 using keywords: stroke, brain attack, intracranial hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral infarction. The content of the applications was analyzed by two independent investigators.

RESULTS: A total of 93 relevant applications (46.2% android and 53.8% iPhone) were identified of which 47.3% were available free of cost. 92% of apps were identified as useful by users and over 60% had scientifically valid information. There is a significant participation of healthcare agencies in dissemination of stroke related information through apps with 47.3% apps being uploaded by them. Over half of all stroke related apps were aimed towards health care workers (51.6%), 75% of which could be utilized as bedside tools for patient care and remainder had information related to recent research advances. The difference in scientific validity between the apps aimed at general population versus healthcare professionals was statistically significant (P<0.01). There was no statistical association between cost of app and scientific validity or usefulness.

CONCLUSIONS: Smartphone apps are a significant source of information related to stroke. An increasing participation of healthcare agencies should be encouraged to promote dissemination of scientifically valid information.

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