Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 138–142 | Cite as

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

  • Ambarish Pandey
  • Sayeedul Hasan
  • Divyanshu Dubey
  • Sasmit Sarangi
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Smartphone application Disease information Patient education 

References

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Robson Y, Blackford S, Roberts D (2012) Caution in melanoma risk analysis with smartphone application technology. Br J Dermatol 167(3):703–704Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kumar S, Wang EH, Pokabla MJ, Noecker RJ (2012) Teleophthalmology assessment of diabetic retinopathy fundus images: smartphone versus standard office computer workstation. Telemedicine journal and e-health: the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association 18:158–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bhosai SJ, Amza A, Beido N, Bailey RL, Keenan JD, Gaynor BD, et al (2012) Application of smartphone cameras for detecting clinically active trachoma. Br J Ophtahlmol 96(10):1350–1351Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Abroms LC, Padmanabhan N, Thaweethai L, Phillips T (2011) iPhone apps for smoking cessation: a content analysis. American journal of preventive medicine 40:279–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohn AM, Hunter-Reel D, Hagman BT, Mitchell J (2011) Promoting behavior change from alcohol use through mobile technology: the future of ecological momentary assessment. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 35:2209–2215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rao A, Hou P, Golnik T, Flaherty J, Vu S (2010) Evolution of data management tools for managing self-monitoring of blood glucose results: a survey of iPhone applications. Journal of diabetes science and technology 4:949–957PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosser BA, Eccleston C (2011) Smartphone applications for pain management. Journal of telemedicine and telecare 17:308–312PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Senior K (2011) Smart phones: new clinical tools in oncology? The lancet oncology 12:429–430PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oehler RL, Smith K, Toney JF (2010) Infectious diseases resources for the iPhone. Clinical infectious diseases: an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 50:1268–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hawkes CP, Walsh BH, Ryan CA, Dempsey EM (2012) Smartphone technology enhances newborn intubation knowledge and performance amongst paediatric trainees. Resuscitation. doi:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.06.025
  12. 12.
    Kubben PL (2010) Neurosurgical apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. Surgical neurology international 1:89PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Franko OI (2011) Smartphone apps for orthopaedic surgeons. Clin Orthop Relat Res 469:2042–2048PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Boulos MN, Wheeler S, Tavares C, Jones R (2011) How smartphones are changing the face of mobile and participatory healthcare: an overview, with example from eCAALYX. Biomed Eng Online 10:24. doi:10.1186/1475-925X-10-24 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mosa AS, Yoo I, Sheets L (2012) A systematic review of healthcare applications for smartphones. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 12:67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hamilton AD, Brady RR (2012) Medical Professional Involvement In Smartphone Apps In Dermatology. Br J Dermatol 167(1):220–221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Miller SM, Beattie MM, Butt AA (2003) Personal digital assistant infectious diseases applications for health care professionals. Clin Infect Dis 36:1018–1029PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barrons R (2004) Evaluation of personal digital assistant software for drug interactions. American journal of health-system pharmacy 61:380–385PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Franko OI, Tirrell TF (2012) Smartphone app use among medical providers in ACGME training programs. J Med Syst 36(5):3135–3139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    O'Neill S, Brady RR (2012) Colorectal smartphone apps: opportunities and risks. Colorectal Dis 14(9):e530–e534PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Joshi MP, Bhangoo RS, Kumar K (2011) Quality of nutrition related information on the internet for osteoporosis patients: a critical review. Technol Health Care 19(6):391–400PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kinnane NA, Milne DJ (2010) The role of the internet in supporting and informing carers of people with cancer: a literature review. Support Care Cancer 18(9):1123–1136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Vance K, Howe W (2009) Dellavalle RP Social internet sites as a source of public health information. Dermatol Clin 27(2):133–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rutten LJ, Arora NK, Bakos AD, Aziz N, Rowland J (2005) Information needs and sources of information among cancer patients: a systematic review of research (1980-2003). Patient Educ Couns 57(3):250–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim P, Eng TR, Deering MJ, Maxfield A (1999) Published criteria for evaluating health related web sites. BMJ 318(7184):647–649PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Glowniak J (1997) The internet as an information source for geriatricians. Drugs Aging 10(3):169–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kaufman N (2010) Internet and information technology use in treatment of diabetes. Int J Clin Pract Suppl 166:41–46PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Skinner H, Biscope S, Poland B, Goldberg E (2003) How adolescents use technology for health information: implications for health professionals from focus group studies. J Med Internet Res 5(4):e32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sahama T, Liang J, Iannella R (2012) Impact of the social networking applications for health information management for patients and physicians. Stud Health Technol Inform 180:803–807PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Frost JH, Massagli MP (2008) Social uses of personal health information within PatientsLikeMe, an online patient community: what can happen when patients have access to one another’s data. J Med Internet Res 10(3):e15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vyas AN, Landry M, Schnider M, Rojas AM (2012) Wood SF Public health interventions: reaching Latino adolescents via short message service and social media. J Med Internet Res 14(4):e99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    von Muhlen M, Ohno-Machado L (2012) Reviewing social media use by clinicians. J Am Med Inform Assoc 19(5):777–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sood A, Sarangi S, Pandey A, Murugiah K (2011) YouTube as a source of information on kidney stone disease. Urology 77(3):558–562PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Pandey A, Patni N, Singh M, Sood A, Singh G (2010) YouTube as a source of information on the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Am J Prev Med 38(3):e1–e3PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ambarish Pandey
    • 1
  • Sayeedul Hasan
    • 2
  • Divyanshu Dubey
    • 1
  • Sasmit Sarangi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.University College of Medical SciencesDelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineBrigham and Women’s hospitalBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations