Patients welcome the Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology (SMART)

Hemoglobin. 2014;38(2):99-103. doi: 10.3109/03630269.2014.880716. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


The widespread use of mobile phones among patients provides a unique opportunity for the development of mobile health intervention designed specifically for sickle cell disease, which will improve self-management as well as health care delivery. Our objective was to determine the receptiveness of patients with sickle cell disease to technology and a mobile application (app) designed for sickle cell disease. Phase I included 100 patients who completed a survey inquiring about receptiveness to technology and use of mobile devices to self-manage and communicate with providers. Phase II surveyed 17 additional patients who tested a newly developed sickle cell disease app, to report its usability and utility. In Phase I, on a 0-10 Likert scale where 0 is not comfortable, and 10 is extremely comfortable, 87.0% of participants reported >5 comfort level using a mobile device for health care management. Participants were comfortable with texting (81.0%) and emailing (77.0%) but not with social media (40.0%). Most participants (84.0%) owned computer devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, or iPads), and 92.0% owned mobile devices. In Phase II, participants reported that the app tested was useful to track pain (88.0%), and 94.0% reported that it was easy to use, practical, and useful for health self-management. All reported that the app was useful to help one communicate with providers. Following the use of our app, patients found it an extremely valuable tool for tracking pain, health management, and communicating with providers. We conclude that mobile technology might provide an appropriate venue for sickle cell disease healthcare management.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy*
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data