Background In recent years, health apps have increased exponentially, with more than 3 25 000 available.
Because of the lack of regulation, some of these apps may offer inaccurate content or may not reach the minimum quality standards in order to be used by healthcare professionals.
Purpose Analyse the availability of parenteral nutrition (PN)-related apps for mobile devices and their quality according to the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS).
Material and methods Cross-sectional study performed in October 2018.
A search was conducted of two major mobile platforms: Apple’s App store and Google Play Store. The keywords used to identify the initial sample was ‘parenteral nutrition’.
The exclusion criteria were:
Not related to PN.
No English or Spanish language.
Not updated <36 months.
The selected apps were downloaded on a smartphone and on a tablet of both systems in order to be analysed. The app’s quality and reliability were measured by means of MARS (score 0–5 points). MARS includes a 4-item subjective assessment which was also used to analyse the apps. Other variables analysed were: social score (for Android apps), availability in operative systems and devices, and price.
Data collection and statistical analysis were performed in a Google Drive spreadsheet.
Results Of the 34 apps identified, only six met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All were addressed to healthcare workers, standing out those addressed to ICU or neonatal units.
The mean MARS was 2.82 (2.41–3.75). The mean social score was 4.65. The three apps with best MARS (0–5) were ASPEN ebooks (3.75), UCIN-Calc Beta (3.06) and Nutricion Parenteral UCI (2.68). These also obtained the best score in the subjective assessment (2.5, 3.25 and 2.25 respectively). The other analysed apps obtained a MARS <3 points and a subjective score <2 points.
Conclusion There are few updated apps related to PN, and they are all addressed to healthchare professionals. Only a few PN apps have enough quality to be used by healthcare professionals with guarantees of their activity.
References and/or acknowledgements Stoyanov SR, et al. Mobile app rating scale: a new tool for assessing the quality of health mobile apps.
Eysenbach G (ed). JMIR mHealth uHealth 2015;3:e27. doi:10.2196/mhealth.3422.
No conflict of interest.
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