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6ER-008 Quality, gaps and opportunities in smartphone applications for pulmonary hypertension: an evaluation from hospital pharmacists’ and patients’ perspectives
  1. H Rodríguez Ramallo1,
  2. N Báez Gutiérrez2,
  3. B Brown Arreola3,
  4. EM Mendoza Zambrano3,
  5. P Suárez Casillas1,
  6. S Lora Escobar1,
  7. B Aparicio Castellano4,
  8. C Guzman Cordero4,
  9. R Otero Candelera3
  1. 1Hospital Universitario Virgen Del Rocío, Pharmacy, Sevilla, Spain
  2. 2Hospital Universitario Puerta Del Mar, Pharmacy, Cádiz, Spain
  3. 3Hospital Universitario Virgen Del Rocío, Pneumology, Sevilla, Spain
  4. 4Hospital Universitario Reina Sofia, Pharmacy, Córdoba, Spain


Background and Importance Hospital pharmacists and patients face challenges in identifying high-quality, functional smartphone applications (apps) for aiding pulmonary hypertension (PH) management. A thorough, user-centred evaluation is required due to these app’s role in medication management and patient education.

Aim and Objectives To evaluate the quality and utility of PH-focused apps from the perspectives of hospital pharmacists and patients.

Material and Methods An observational study was conducted on freely available apps intended for PH patients and healthcare providers on Android and iOS platforms. Variables such as platform (Android/iOS), last update date, intended purpose and stakeholder involvement were collected. The Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) framework was used for quality assessment, and Mann-Whitney U tests were applied to compare mean MARS scores based on specific variables (healthcare professional participation, pharmaceutical industry involvement, or target population).

Results Our evaluation encompassed 20 PH-specific applications across two platforms: Android (9), iOS (7), and both (4). Of these, 11 targeted healthcare professionals and 9 were designed for patients or general population use. Eleven apps were updated within the past year.

Only 10 apps were developed with healthcare professional input, and none involved PH patients. Five applications were pharmaceutical-industry-developed, and 8 benefited from pharmaceutical funding.

Despite a universal emphasis on the few apps identified on disseminating PH general information, none offered features for patient self-management like adverse effect monitoring or medication tracking. Likewise, they lacked functionalities crucial for hospital pharmacists, such as drug interaction checks or allowing direct communication with patients.

Quality assessment via the MARS scale yielded a median score of 3.4 (1.8–3.9), indicating acceptable quality. Analyses found no significant impact of healthcare professional participation, pharmaceutical industry involvement, or target population on the app´s quality.

Conclusion and Relevance While the few existing PH apps offer educational features for patients and healthcare providers of acceptable quality, they neglect the specialised needs of hospital pharmacists and PH patients. Our findings accentuate the imperative for focused, collaborative development of apps to better serve these specific stakeholders in PH management.

While this development has the potential to improve patient care, this proposition warrants empirical validation. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct studies in controlled settings to generate robust evidence regarding the efficacy of these tools.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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