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The availability and characteristics of patient focused oral hygiene apps

Parker, K; Bharmal, R; Sharif, MO; (2019) The availability and characteristics of patient focused oral hygiene apps. British Dental Journal , 226 pp. 600-604. 10.1038/s41415-019-0197-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction The use of apps has increased in recent years, especially in healthcare. Due to apps being largely unregulated, the quality and accuracy of the information provided can be variable. Aim To assess the availability of patient-focused oral hygiene apps and profile the characteristics of the most popular apps on Apple's 'App Store' and, on Android, 'Google Play'. Method Oral hygiene-related search terms were used to identify apps on these platforms. Detailed information for the 20 most popular apps for each search term was recorded. Results In total, 1,075 apps were identified with fewer apps available on the App Store than on Google Play. The 20 most popular apps for each search term focused on providing oral hygiene information, were free of charge and were developed after 2015. No apps contained information regarding whether they were approved by official organisations and if effectiveness or acceptability testing had been conducted. App ratings were variable and unrelated to the quality and accuracy of the information. Conclusion Due to a lack of professional regulation, there is a risk that patients may access inaccurate information via apps. Therefore, evaluation, validation, and quality assessment of healthcare apps is needed before recommending these to patients.

Type: Article
Title: The availability and characteristics of patient focused oral hygiene apps
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41415-019-0197-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-019-0197-7
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > EDI Craniofacial and Development Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061937
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