alexa Colorectal smartphone apps: opportunities and risks


Medical & Surgical Urology

Author(s): ONeill S, Brady RR

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AIM: The increased utilization of smartphones within the clinical environment together with connected applications (apps) provides opportunity for doctors, including coloproctologists, to integrate such technology into clinical practice. However, the reliability of unregulated medical apps has recently been called into question. Here, we review contemporary medical apps specifically themed towards colorectal diseases and assess levels of medical professional involvement in their design and content.

METHOD: The most popular smartphone app stores (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows and Samsung) were searched for colorectal disease themed apps, using the disease terms colorectal cancer, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, haemorrhoids, anal fissure, bowel incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome.

RESULTS: A total of 68 individual colorectal themed apps were identified, amongst which there were five duplicates. Only 29% of colorectal apps had had customer satisfaction ratings and 32% had named medical professional involvement in their development or content.

CONCLUSION: The benefits of apps are offset by lack of colorectal specification. There is little medical professional involvement in their design. Increased regulation is required to improve accountability of app content.

This article was published in Colorectal Dis and referenced in Medical & Surgical Urology

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