Objective: Since the introduction of applications (apps) for smartphones, the popularity of medical apps has been rising. The aim of this review was to demonstrate the current availability of apps related to burns on Google's Android and Apple's iOS store as well as to include a review of their developers, features, and costs.
Methods: A systematic online review of Google Play Store and Apple's App Store was performed by using the following search terms: "burn," "burns," "thermal," and the German word "Verbrennung." All apps that were programmed for use as medical apps for burns were included. The review was performed from 25 February until 1 March 2014. A closer look at the free and paid calculation apps including a standardized patient was performed.
Results: Four types of apps were identified: calculators, information apps, book/journal apps, and games. In Google Play Store, 31 apps were related to burns, of which 20 were calculation apps (eight for estimating the total body surface area (TBSA) and nine for total fluid requirement (TFR)). In Apple's App Store, under the category of medicine, 39 apps were related to burns, of which 21 were calculation apps (19 for estimating the TBSA and 17 for calculating the TFR). In 19 out of 32 available calculation apps, our study showed a correlation of the calculated TFR compared to our standardized patient.
Conclusion: The review demonstrated that many apps for medical burns are available in both common app stores. Even free available calculation apps may provide a more objective and reproducible procedure compared to manual/subjective estimations, although there is still a lack of data security especially in personal data entered in calculation apps. Further clinical studies including smartphone apps for burns should be performed.
Keywords: Android; Apple; Application; Burns; Total body surface area; Total fluid requirement.
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