Mobile Applications for Control and Self Management of Diabetes: A Systematic Review
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Mobile applications (apps) can be very useful software on smartphones for all aspects of people’s lives. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, can be made manageable with the support of mobile apps. Applications on smartphones can also help people with diabetes to control their fitness and health. A systematic review of free apps in the English language for smartphones in three of the most popular mobile app stores: Google Play (Android), App Store (iOS) and Windows Phone Store, was performed from November to December 2015. The review of freely available mobile apps for self-management of diabetes was conducted based on the criteria for promoting diabetes self-management as defined by Goyal and Cafazzo (monitoring blood glucose level and medication, nutrition, physical exercise and body weight). The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) was followed. Three independent experts in the field of healthcare-related mobile apps were included in the assessment for eligibility and testing phase. We tested and evaluated 65 apps (21 from Google Play Store, 31 from App Store and 13 from Windows Phone Store). Fifty-six of these apps did not meet even minimal requirements or did not work properly. While a wide selection of mobile applications is available for self-management of diabetes, current results show that there are only nine (5 from Google Play Store, 3 from App Store and 1 from Windows Phone Store) out of 65 reviewed mobile apps that can be versatile and useful for successful self-management of diabetes based on selection criteria. The levels of inclusion of features based on selection criteria in selected mobile apps can be very different. The results of the study can be used as a basis to prvide app developers with certain recommendations. There is a need for mobile apps for self-management of diabetes with more features in order to increase the number of long-term users and thus influence better self-management of the disease.
KeywordsMobile apps Self-management of diabetes Health
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