Impact of Health Apps in Health and Computer Science Publications. A Systematic Review from 2010 to 2014

  • Guillermo Molina-Recio
  • Laura García-Hernández
  • Antonio Castilla-Melero
  • Juan M. Palomo-Romero
  • Rafael Molina-Luque
  • Antonio A. Sánchez-Muñoz
  • Antonio Arauzo-Azofra
  • Lorenzo Salas-Morera
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9044)


Several studies have estimated the potential economic and social impact of the mHealth development. Considering the latest study by Institute for Healthcare Informatics, more than 40,000 Apps of health and medicine are offered in the Apple store. Adding those of Playstore and other platforms, the figure reaches 97,000. Thus, they have become the third-fastest growing category, only after games and utilities, and it has projected that its presence will grow about 23% annually over the next five years. This study aims to estimate the impact that the development of mHealth has had on the health and computer science field, through the study of publications in specific databases for each area which have been published since 2010 to 2014.


mHealth App Health Sciences Computer Sciences Review 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Patient apps for improved healthcare: from novelty to mainstream (October 2013), (accessed July 22, 2014)
  2. 2.
    Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. How mobile technology is transforming health care (2012), (accessed July 22, 2014)
  3. 3.
    Urrutia, G., Bonfill, X.: Declaración PRISMA: Una propuesta para mejorar la publicación de revisiones sistemáticas y metaanálisis. Medicina Clínica 135(11), 507–511 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abel, O., Shatunov, A., Jones, A.R., Andersen, P.M., Powell, J.F., Al-Chalabi, A.: Development of a Smartphone App for a Genetics Website: The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Online Genetics Database (ALSoD). JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e18 (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ahtinen, A., Mattila, E., Välkkynen, P., Kaipainen, K., Vanhala, T., Ermes, M., Lappalainen, R.: Mobile mental wellness training for stress management: Feasibility and design implications based on a one-month field study. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e11 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Akter, S., D’Ambra, J., Ray, P.: Development and validation of an instrument to measure user perceived service quality of mHealth. Information & Management 50(4), 181–195 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Albrecht, U.V., Behrends, M., Matthies, H.K., von Jan, U.: Usage of Multilin-gual Mobile Translation Applications in Clinical Settings. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(1), e4 (2013)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alnanih, R., Ormandjieva, O., Radhakrishnan, T.: Context-based and Rule-based Adaptation of Mobile User Interfaces in mHealth. Procedia Computer Science 21, 390–397 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Arnhold, M., Quade, M., Kirch, W.: Mobile Applications for Diabetics: A Sys-tematic Review and Expert-Based Usability Evaluation Considering the Special Require-ments of Diabetes Patients Age 50 Years or Older. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16(4) (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Balsam, J., Bruck, H.A., Rasooly, A.: Capillary array waveguide amplified fluo-rescence detector for mHealth. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 186, 711–717 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Balsam, J., Rasooly, R., Bruck, H.A., Rasooly, A.: Thousand-fold fluorescent signal amplification for mHealth diagnostics. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 51, 1–7 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barwais, F.A., Cuddihy, T.F., Tomson, L.M.: Physical activity, sedentary be-havior and total wellness changes among sedentary adults: A 4-week randomized controlled trial. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 11(1), 183 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Becker, S., Miron-Shatz, T., Schumacher, N., Krocza, J., Diamantidis, C., Albrecht, U.V.: mHealth 2.0: Experiences, Possibilities, and Perspectives. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(2), e24 (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bierbrier, R., Lo, V., Wu, R.C.: Evaluation of the accuracy of smartphone medical calculation apps. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16(2) (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    BinDhim, N.F., McGeechan, K., Trevena, L.: Who Uses Smoking Cessation Apps? A Feasibility Study Across Three Countries via Smartphones. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 2(1), e4 (2014)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Boulos, M.N.K., Brewer, A.C., Karimkhani, C., Buller, D.B., Dellavalle, R.P.: Mobile medical and health apps: State of the art, concerns, regulatory control and certification. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics 5(3), 229 (2014)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Breland, J.Y., Yeh, V.M., Yu, J.: Adherence to evidence-based guidelines among diabetes self-management apps. Translational Behavioral Medicine 3(3), 277–286 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Breton, E.R., Fuemmeler, B.F., Abroms, L.C.: Weight loss—there is an app for that! But does it adhere to evidence-informed practices? Translational Behavioral Medicine 1(4), 523–529 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bricker, J.B., Mull, K.E., Kientz, J.A., Vilardaga, R., Mercer, L.D., Akioka, K.J., Heffner, J.L.: Randomized, controlled pilot trial of a smartphone app for smoking cessation using acceptance and commitment therapy. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 143, 87–94 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Brooke, M.J., Thompson, B.M.: Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Diabetes-Related mHealth Technologies. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 7(2), 296–301 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brown III, W., Yen, P.Y., Rojas, M., Schnall, R.: Assessment of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model (Health-ITUEM) for evaluating mobile health (mHealth) tech-nology. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 46(6), 1080–1087 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cafazzo, J.A., Casselman, M., Hamming, N., Katzman, D.K., Palmert, M.R.: Design of an mHealth app for the self-management of adolescent type 1 diabetes: A pilot study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 14(3), e70 (2012)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Carter, T., O’Neill, S., Johns, N., Brady, R.R.: Contemporary vascular smartphone medical applications. Annals of Vascular Surgery 27(6), 804–809 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chen, L., Wang, W., Du, X., Rao, X., van Velthoven, M.H., Yang, R., Zhang, Y.: Effectiveness of a smart phone app on improving immunization of children in rural Sichuan Province, China: Study protocol for a paired cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 14(1), 262 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cornelius, C.T., Kotz, D.F.: Recognizing whether sensors are on the same body. Pervasive and Mobile Computing 8(6), 822–836 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Datta, A.K., Sumargo, A., Jackson, V., Dey, P.P.: mCHOIS: An application of mobile technology for childhood obesity surveillance. Procedia Computer Science 5, 653–660 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    de la Vega, R., Miró, J.: mHealth: A Strategic Field without a Solid Scientific Soul. A Systematic Review of Pain-Related Apps. PloS One 9(7), e101312 (2014)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dunford, E., Trevena, H., Goodsell, C., Ng, K.H., Webster, J., Millis, A., Neal, B.: FoodSwitch: A mobile phone app to enable consumers to make healthier food choices and crowdsourcing of national food composition data. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3) (2014)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Eskenazi, B., Quirós-Alcalá, L., Lipsitt, J.M., Wu, L.D., Kruger, P., Ntimbane, T., Seto, E.: mSpray: A mobile phone technology to improve malaria control efforts and monitor human exposure to malaria control pesticides in Limpopo, South Africa. Environment International 68, 219–226 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fiordelli, M., Diviani, N., Schulz, P.J.: Mapping mHealth research: A decade of evolution. Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(5) (2013)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Goldenberg, T., McDougal, S.J., Sullivan, P.S., Stekler, J.D., Stephenson, R.: Preferences for a Mobile HIV Prevention App for Men Who Have Sex With Men. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(4), e47 (2014)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Grindrod, K.A., Gates, A., Dolovich, L., Slavcev, R., Drimmie, R., Aghaei, B., Leat, S.J.: ClereMed: Lessons Learned From a Pilot Study of a Mobile Screening Tool to Identify and Support Adults Who Have Difficulty With Medication Labels. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3) (2014)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hao, W.R., Hsu, Y.H., Chen, K.C., Li, H.C., Iqbal, U., Nguyen, P.A., Jian, W.S.: LabPush: A Pilot Study of Providing Remote Clinics with Laboratory Results via Short Message Service (SMS) in Swaziland, Africa-A Qualitative study. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine (2014)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hilliard, M.E., Hahn, A., Ridge, A.K., Eakin, M.N., Riekert, K.A.: User Pref-erences and Design Recommendations for an mHealth App to Promote Cystic Fibrosis Self-Management. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(4), e44 (2014)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hundert, A.S., Huguet, A., McGrath, P.J., Stinson, J.N., Wheaton, M.: Commercially Available Mobile Phone Headache Diary Apps: A Systematic Review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3) (2014)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Iwaya, L.H., Gomes, M.A.L., Simplício, M.A., Carvalho, T.C.M.B., Dominicini, C.K., Sakuragui, R.R., Håkansson, P.: Mobile health in emerging countries: A survey of research initiatives in Brazil. International Journal of Medical Informatics 82(5), 283–298 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Jibb, L.A., Stevens, B.J., Nathan, P.C., Seto, E., Cafazzo, J.A., Stinson, J.N.: A Smartphone-Based Pain Management App for Adolescents With Cancer: Establishing System Requirements and a Pain Care Algorithm Based on Literature Review, Interviews, and Consensus. JMIR Research Protocols 3(1) (2014)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    King, C., Hall, J., Banda, M., Beard, J., Bird, J., Kazembe, P.: Electronic data capture in a rural African setting: evaluating experiences with different systems in Malawi. Global Health Action 7 (2014)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kizakevich, P.N., Eckhoff, R., Weger, S., Weeks, A., Brown, J., Bryant, S., Spira, J.: A personal health information toolkit for health intervention research. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 199, 35–39 (2013)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Klonoff, D.C.: The current status of mHealth for diabetes: Will it be the next big thing? Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 7(3), 749–758 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kuo, M.C., Lu, Y.C., Chang, P.: A newborn baby care support app and system for mHealth. In: NI 2012: Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Nursing Informatics, vol. 2012. American Medical Informatics Association (2012)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Labrique, A., Vasudevan, L., Chang, L.W., Mehl, G.: H_pe for mHealth: More “y” or “o” on the horizon? International Journal of Medical Informatics 82(5), 467–469 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Lee, S.S.S., Xin, X., Lee, W.P., Sim, E.J., Tan, B., Bien, M.P.G., Thumboo, J.: The feasibility of using SMS as a health survey tool: An exploratory study in pa-tients with rheumatoid arthritis. International Journal of Medical Informatics 82(5), 427–434 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Lewis, T.L., Wyatt, J.C.: Mhealth and mobile medical apps: A framework to assess risk and promote safer use. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16(9) (2014)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Liu, C., Zhu, Q., Holroyd, K.A., Seng, E.K.: Status and trends of mobile-health applications for iOS devices: A developer’s perspective. Journal of Systems and Software 84(11), 2022–2033 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lopez, C., Ramirez, D.C., Valenzuela, J.I., Arguello, A., Saenz, J.P., Trujillo, S., Dominguez, C.: Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young Adults in Colombia: Teleconsultation Using Mobile Devices. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3) (2014)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Lyons, E.J., Lewis, Z.H., Mayrsohn, B.G., Rowland, J.L.: Behavior change techniques implemented in electronic lifestyle activity monitors: A systematic content analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16(8) (2014)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Mann, D.M., Kudesia, V., Reddy, S., Weng, M., Imler, D., Quintiliani, L.: Development of DASH Mobile: A mHealth Lifestyle Change Intervention for the Management of Hypertension. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 192, 973–973 (2012)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Martínez-Pérez, B., de la Torre-Díez, I., López-Coronado, M.: Mobile health applications for the most prevalent conditions by the World Health Organization: Review and analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(6) (2013)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Martínez-Pérez, B., de la Torre-Díez, I., López-Coronado, M., Herreros-González, J.: Mobile Apps in Cardiology: Review. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e15 (2013)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Martínez-Pérez, B., de la Torre-Díez, I., López-Coronado, M., Sainz-De-Abajo, B.: Comparison of Mobile Apps for the Leading Causes of Death Among Different Income Zones: A Review of the Literature and App Stores. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 2(1), e1 (2014)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Martínez-Pérez, B., de la Torre-Díez, I., López-Coronado, M., Sainz-de-Abajo, B., Robles, M., García-Gómez, J.M.: Mobile clinical decision support systems and applications: A literature and commercial review. Journal of Medical Systems 38(1), 1–10 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Masters, K.: Health professionals as mobile content creators: Teaching medical students to develop mHealth applications. Medical Teacher 36(10), 883–889 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Menezes Jr., J., Gusmão, C., Machiavelli, J.: A Proposal of Mobile System to Support Scenario-based Learning for Health Promotion. Procedia Technology 9, 1142–1148 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Mirkovic, J., Kaufman, D.R., Ruland, C.M.: Supporting cancer patients in illness management: Usability evaluation of a mobile app. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3), e33 (2014) doi:10.2196/mhealth.3359Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Mobasheri, M.H., Johnston, M., King, D., Leff, D., Thiruchelvam, P., Darzi, A.: Smartphone breast applications–What’s the evidence? The Breast 23(5), 683–689 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Neto, O.B.L., Albuquerque, C.M., Albuquerque, J.O., Barbosa, C.S.: The Schisto Track: A System for Gathering and Monitoring Epidemiological Surveys by Con-necting Geographical Information Systems in Real Time. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 2(1), e10 (2014)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    O’Malley, G., Dowdall, G., Burls, A., Perry, I.J., Curran, N.: Exploring the usability of a mobile app for adolescent obesity management. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(2) (2014)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Parmanto, B., Pramana, G., Yu, D.X., Fairman, A.D., Dicianno, B.E., McCue, M.P.: iMHere: A novel mhealth system for supporting self-care in management of complex and chronic conditions. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e10 (2013)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Pérez-Cruzado, D., Cuesta-Vargas, A.I.: Improving Adherence Physical Activity with a Smartphone Application Based on Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (APPCOID). BMC Public Health 13(1), 1173 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Ploderer, B., Smith, W., Pearce, J., Borland, R.: A Mobile App Offering Distrac-tions and Tips to Cope With Cigarette Craving: A Qualitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(2), e23 (2014)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Pulman, A., Taylor, J., Galvin, K., Masding, M.: Ideas and Enhancements Related to Mobile Applications to Support Type 1 Diabetes. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e12 (2013)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Ribu, L., Holmen, H., Torbjørnsen, A., Wahl, A.K., Grøttland, A., Småstuen, M.C., Årsand, E.: Low-Intensity Self-Management Intervention for Persons With Type 2 Diabetes Using a Mobile Phone-Based Diabetes Diary, With and Without Health Counseling and Motivational Interviewing: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols 2(2) (2013)Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sezgin, E., Yıldırım, S.Ö.: A Literature Review on Attitudes of Health Profes-sionals towards Health Information Systems: From e-Health to m-Health. Procedia Technology 16, 1317–1326 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Shishido, H.Y., Alves da Curze de, A.R., Eler, G.J.: mHealth Data Collector: An Application to Collect and Report Indicators for Assessment of Cardiometabolic Risk. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 201, 425–432 (2013)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Silva, B.M., Rodrigues, J.J., Canelo, F., Lopes, I.C., Zhou, L.: A data encryption solution for mobile health apps in cooperation environments. Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(4) (2013)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Slaper, M.R., Conkol, K.: mHealth Tools for the Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home. Pediatric Annals 43(2), e39-43 (2014)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Sunyaev, A., Dehling, T., Taylor, P.L., Mandl, K.D.: Availability and quality of mobile health app privacy policies. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, amiajnl-2013 (2014)Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Surka, S., Edirippulige, S., Steyn, K., Gaziano, T., Puoane, T., Levitt, N.: Evalu-ating the use of mobile phone technology to enhance cardiovascular disease screening by community health workers. International Journal of Medical Informatics 83(9), 648–654 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Tsui, I., Drexler, A., Stanton, A.L., Kageyama, J., Ngo, E., Straatsma, B.R.: Pilot Study Using Mobile Health to Coordinate the Diabetic Patient, Diabetologist, and Ophthalmologist. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 1932296814529637 (2014)Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Tate, D.F.: Are we sure that Mobile Health is really mobile? An examination of mobile device use during two remotely-delivered weight loss interventions. International Journal of Medical Informatics 83(5), 313–319 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Tate, D.F.: Are we sure that Mobile Health is really mobile? An examination of mobile device use during two remotely-delivered weight loss interventions. International Journal of Medical Informatics 83(5), 313–319 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Beets, M.W., Moore, J.B., Kaczynski, A.T., Barr-Anderson, D.J., Tate, D.F.: Comparison of traditional versus mobile app self-monitoring of physical activity and dietary intake among overweight adults participating in an mHealth weight loss program. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 20(3), 513–518 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    van der Heijden, M., Lucas, P.J., Lijnse, B., Heijdra, Y.F., Schermer, T.R.: An autonomous mobile system for the management of COPD. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 46(3), 458–469 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    van der Weegen, S., Verwey, R., Spreeuwenberg, M., Tange, H., van der Weijden, T., de Witte, L.: The development of a mobile monitoring and feedback tool to stimulate physical activity of people with a chronic disease in primary care: A user-centered design. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 1(2), e8 (2013)Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    van Drongelen, A., Boot, C.R., Hlobil, H., Twisk, J.W., Smid, T., van der Beek, A.J.: Evaluation of an mHealth intervention aiming to improve health-related behavior and sleep and reduce fatigue among airline pilots. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 40(6), 557–568 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Vriend, I., Coehoorn, I., Verhagen, E.: Implementation of an App-based neuromuscular training programme to prevent ankle sprains: A process evaluation using the RE-AIM Framework. British Journal of Sports Medicine, bjsports-2013 (2014)Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Wang, A., An, N., Lu, X., Chen, H., Li, C., Levkoff, S.: A Classification Scheme for Analyzing Mobile Apps Used to Prevent and Manage Disease in Late Life. JMIR mhealth and uhealth 2(1), e6 (2014)Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Yang, Y.T., Silverman, R.D.: Mobile health applications: the patchwork of legal and liability issues suggests strategies to improve oversight. Health Affairs 33(2), 222–227 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Zmily, A., Mowafi, Y., Mashal, E.: Study of the Usability of Spaced Retrieval Exercise Using Mobile Devices for Alzheimer’s Disease Rehabilitation. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 2(3) (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Molina-Recio
    • 1
  • Laura García-Hernández
    • 2
  • Antonio Castilla-Melero
    • 1
  • Juan M. Palomo-Romero
    • 2
  • Rafael Molina-Luque
    • 1
  • Antonio A. Sánchez-Muñoz
    • 1
  • Antonio Arauzo-Azofra
    • 2
  • Lorenzo Salas-Morera
    • 2
  1. 1.Nursing DepartmentUniversity of CórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Area of Project EngineeringUniversity of CórdobaSpain

Personalised recommendations