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Arch Hellen Med, 36(1), January-February 2019, 73-80


Investigation of the effectiveness of mobile health applications for chronic diseases

A. Spyridaki,1,5 I. Antonakos,2,5 I. Apostolakis,3,5 I. Tountas4,5
1Department of Pharmacy, "Andreas Syngros" Hospital of Cutaneous and Venereal Diseases, Athens,
2Second Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
3National School of Public Health, Athens,
4School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
5Postgraduate Program (MSc) "Planning and Management of Health Services", School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Mobile Health (m-Health) is an emerging e-Health technology developed as a result of improvements in information and communication technology. Μ-Health delivers healthcare services electronically, overcoming geographical, temporal and organizational barriers. The applications (apps) of m-Health address emerging problems in the health services, including the increase in chronic disease related to lifestyle, the high costs of the national health services, the need to empower patients and families to handle their own healthcare and self-care, and to provide them with direct access to health services, regardless of time and place. This paper evaluates the m-Health apps available in Google Play for specific chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus (DM), cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Of the 388 applications examined, 44% concerned the recording of vital parameters of patients with DM, 24% of patients with COPD and 17% of patients with cardiac problems. Physical fitness and welfare applications accounted, respectively for 36%, 28% and 10% of apps for these groups of patients, followed by lower rates for apps for healthcare professionals, social networking apps, etc. Review of studies evaluating m-Health apps highlights their usefulness when they are connected to health systems.

Key words: Chronic disease, m-Health and cardiovascular diseases, m-Health and chronic pulmonary disease, m-Health and diabetes mellitus, Mobile apps, Mobile health.

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