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Review
, 3 (6), 434-438
eCollection

Mobile Applications in Otolaryngology for Patients: An Update

Affiliations
Review

Mobile Applications in Otolaryngology for Patients: An Update

Manuele Casale et al. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol.

Abstract

Objective: Recently smartphones and tablets have spread in developed countries, and healthcare-related apps are growing incredibly in different specialties. The aim of this study is to provide an up-to-date review of the current OtoHNS (otolaryngology-head and neck surgery) apps developed for patients.

Methods: This mobile applications review was conducted in September 2017. Relevant apps about OtoHNS were searched in the Apple Store and in the Google Play using various keywords. We included helpful apps for OtoHNS patients. Apps for medical students, physician (95 apps) and non-English apps (6 apps) were excluded.

Results: At the end of our selection process, 216 apps have been included for mobile applications review. The number of apps published per year in OtoHNS has increased each year. The most common apps were about hearing, in particular 63 of 216 (29%) were hearing test; 75 of 216 (35%) for tinnitus treatment; 10 of 216 (5%) for sounds measurement around the patients; and 7 of 216 (3%) to treat vertigo. One hundred thirty-seven of 216 (63%) apps were free of charge. Physicians were clearly involved in the app's development in only 73 of 216 (34%) apps. One hundred sixty-three of 216 (75%) had no user ratings.

Conclusions: Apps are increasingly and easily accessible, although their use in clinical practice is not yet totally accepted. Our review showed that most apps have been created with no guidance from otolaryngologist. Further steps are needed to regulate apps' development. Hoping an "App Board," such as editorial board for scientific journal, to assess app quality, validity, and effectiveness before they can be fully incorporated into clinical practice and medical education.

Level of evidence: N/A.

Keywords: Apple Store; Google Play; Mobile applications; apps; patients.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow‐chart of apps research for mobile applications review
Figure 2
Figure 2
App's last update
Figure 3
Figure 3
App's creation (Apple)
Figure 4
Figure 4
Number of downloads (Android)
Figure 5
Figure 5
Categories
Figure 6
Figure 6
Main functions

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