Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 138–142

Smartphone Apps as a Source of Cancer Information: Changing Trends in Health Information-Seeking Behavior


    • Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Sayeedul Hasan
    • University College of Medical Sciences
  • Divyanshu Dubey
    • Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Sasmit Sarangi
    • Department of Internal MedicineBrigham and Women’s hospital

DOI: 10.1007/s13187-012-0446-9

Cite this article as:
Pandey, A., Hasan, S., Dubey, D. et al. J Canc Educ (2013) 28: 138. doi:10.1007/s13187-012-0446-9


There is an increased interest in smartphone applications as a tool for delivery of health-care information. There have been no studies which evaluated the availability and content of cancer-related smartphone applications. This study aims to identify and analyze cancer-related applications available on the Apple iTunes platform. The Apple iTunes store was searched for cancer-related smartphone applications on July 29, 2011. The content of the applications was analyzed for cost, type of information, validity, and involvement of health-care agencies. A total of 77 relevant applications were identified. There were 24.6 % apps uploaded by health-care agencies, and 36 % of the apps were aimed at health-care workers. Among the apps, 55.8 % provided scientifically validated data. The difference in scientific validity between the apps aimed at general population versus health-care professionals was statistically significant (P < 0.01). Seventy-nine percent of the apps uploaded by health-care agencies were found to be backed by scientific data. There is lack of cancer-related applications with scientifically backed data. There is a need to improve the accountability and reliability of cancer-related smartphone applications and encourage participation by health-care agencies to ensure patient safety.


Smartphone application Disease information Patient education

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012