February 1, 2014

How to identify, assess and utilise mobile medical applications in clinical practice.

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How to identify, assess and utilise mobile medical applications in clinical practice.

Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;68(2):155-62

Authors: Aungst TD, Clauson KA, Misra S, Lewis TL, Husain I

BACKGROUND: There are thousands of medical applications for mobile devices targeting use by healthcare professionals. However, several factors related to the structure of the existing market for medical applications create significant barriers preventing practitioners from effectively identifying mobile medical applications for individual professional use.
AIMS: To define existing market factors relevant to selection of medical applications and describe a framework to empower clinicians to identify, assess and utilise mobile medical applications in their own practice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Resources available on the Internet regarding mobile medical applications, guidelines and published research on mobile medical applications.
RESULTS: Mobile application stores (e.g. iTunes, Google Play) are not effective means of identifying mobile medical applications. Users of mobile devices that desire to implement mobile medical applications into practice need to carefully assess individual applications prior to utilisation.
DISCUSSION: Searching and identifying mobile medical applications requires clinicians to utilise multiple references to determine what application is best for their individual practice methods. This can be done with a cursory exploration of mobile application stores and then moving onto other available resources published in the literature or through Internet resources (e.g. blogs, medical websites, social media). Clinicians must also take steps to ensure that an identified mobile application can be integrated into practice after carefully reviewing it themselves.
CONCLUSION: Clinicians seeking to identify mobile medical application for use in their individual practice should use a combination of app stores, published literature, web-based resources, and personal review to ensure safe and appropriate use.

PMID: 24460614 [PubMed - in process]

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