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Content Analysis of Apps for Growth Monitoring and Growth Hormone Treatment: Systematic Search in the Android App Store

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-05-22, 07:22 and posted on 2024-05-22, 07:22 authored by Luis Fernandez-Luque, José I Labarta, Ella Palmer, Ekaterina Koledova

Background

The use of mobile apps for health is growing. This rapid growth in the number of health apps can make it hard to assess their quality and features. The increased demand for and availability of mobile health apps highlights the importance of regular publication of reviews to identify potential areas of unmet needs and concern. The focus of this review is mobile apps for monitoring growth for health care professionals, caregivers, and patients. Monitoring growth as a part of healthy physical development is important across different periods of childhood and adolescence.

Objective

The goal of this content analysis is to map and understand the types of apps that currently exist that are related to growth monitoring and growth hormone treatment.

Methods

A semiautomated search was undertaken using the app search engine 42Matters, complemented by a manual search for growth apps using the web search tool of Google Play (Android App Store). Apps were rated on their relevance to growth monitoring and categorized by independent raters.

Results

In total, 76 apps were rated relevant to growth monitoring or growth hormone treatment. The level of agreement was measured for the semiautomated search and was very high (Κ=0.97). The target audience for 87% of the apps (66/76) was patients and relatives, followed by health care professionals (11%; 8/76) and both (3%; 2/76). Apps in the category “growth tracking tools for children and babies” were retrieved most often (46%; 35/76) followed by “general baby care apps” (32%; 24/76), “nonpharmacological solutions for growth” (12%; 9/76) and “growth hormone–related” (11%; 8/76). Overall, 19/76 apps (25%) tracked a precise location.

Conclusions

This study mapped the type of apps currently available for growth monitoring or growth hormone treatment that can be used as a foundation for more detailed evaluations of app quality. The popularity of care apps for children and growth monitoring apps should provide a great channel for potential intervention in childhood health in the future.

Other Information

Published in: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.2196/16208

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

JMIR Publications

Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Computing Research Institute - HBKU

Methodology

A semiautomated search was undertaken using the app search engine 42Matters, complemented by a manual search for growth apps using the web search tool of Google Play (Android App Store). Apps were rated on their relevance to growth monitoring and categorized by independent raters.