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Mobile apps for blood pressure monitoring: Systematic search in app stores and content analysis

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Background: Using a mobile app for self-management could make it easier for patients to get insight into their blood pressure patterns. However, little is known about the availability, quality, and features of mobile apps targeting blood pressure. Objective: The goal of the research was to determine the availability, functionality, and quality of mobile apps that could be used for blood pressure monitoring purposes. Methods: A systematic app search was performed based on the standards for systematic reviews. We searched the Dutch official app stores for Android and iOS platforms using predefined keywords and included all English and Dutch mobile apps targeting blood pressure. Two independent assessors determined eligibility and quality of the apps using the 5-point Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). Quality scores of the apps with and without 17 a priori selected characteristics were compared using independent sample t tests. Results: A total of 184 apps (104 Android, 80 iOS) met the inclusion criteria. The mean overall MARS score was 2.63 (95% CI 2.55-2.71) for Android and 2.64 (95% CI 2.56-2.71) for iOS. The apps Bloeddruk (4.1) and AMICOMED BP (3.6) had the highest quality scores on the Android and iOS platforms, respectively. Of the app characteristics recorded, only pricing, in-app advertisements, and local data storage were not associated with the quality scores. In only 3.8% (7/184) of the apps, involvement of medical experts in its development was mentioned, whereas none of the apps was formally evaluated with results published in a peer-reviewed journal. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of the best apps currently available in the app stores and important key features for self-management that can be used by health care providers and patients with hypertension to identify a suitable app targeting blood pressure monitoring. However, the majority of the apps targeting blood pressure monitoring were of poor quality. Therefore, it is important to involve medical experts in the developmental stage of health-related mobile apps to improve the quality of these apps.




Jamaladin, H., van de Belt, T. H., Luijpers, L. C. H., de Graaff, F. R., Bredie, S. J. H., Roeleveld, N., & van Gelder, M. M. H. J. (2018). Mobile apps for blood pressure monitoring: Systematic search in app stores and content analysis. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 6(11).

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