Application of Smartphone Technologies in Disease Monitoring: A Systematic Review

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Jul 14;9(7):889. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9070889.


Technologies play an essential role in monitoring, managing, and self-management of chronic diseases. Since chronic patients rely on life-long healthcare systems and the current COVID-19 pandemic has placed limits on hospital care, there is a need to explore disease monitoring and management technologies and examine their acceptance by chronic patients. We systematically examined the use of smartphone applications (apps) in chronic disease monitoring and management in databases, namely, Medline, Web of Science, Embase, and Proquest, published from 2010 to 2020. Results showed that app-based weight management programs had a significant effect on healthy eating and physical activity (p = 0.002), eating behaviours (p < 0.001) and dietary intake pattern (p < 0.001), decreased mean body weight (p = 0.008), mean Body Mass Index (BMI) (p = 0.002) and mean waist circumference (p < 0.001). App intervention assisted in decreasing the stress levels (paired t-test = 3.18; p < 0.05). Among cancer patients, we observed a high acceptance of technology (76%) and a moderately positive correlation between non-invasive electronic monitoring data and questionnaire (r = 0.6, p < 0.0001). We found a significant relationship between app use and standard clinical evaluation and high acceptance of the use of apps to monitor the disease. Our findings provide insights into critical issues, including technology acceptance along with regulatory guidelines to be considered when designing, developing, and deploying smartphone solutions targeted for chronic patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; chronic disease; disease management; disease monitoring; mobile solutions; patient-generated health data; smartphone applications; technology; technology acceptance; wearable sensors.

Publication types

  • Review