Evaluating Diabetes Mobile Applications for Health Literate Designs and Functionality, 2014
Published Date:May 07 2015
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 12.
The expansion of mobile health technologies, particularly for diabetes-related applications (apps), grew exponentially in the past decade. This study sought to examine the extent to which current mobile apps for diabetes have health literate features recommended by participants in an Institute of Medicine Roundtable and compare the health literate features by app cost (free or not).
We used diabetes-related keywords to identify diabetes-related apps for iOS devices. A random sample of 110 apps (24% of total number of apps identified) was selected for coding. The coding scheme was adapted from the discussion paper produced by participants in the Institute of Medicine Roundtable.
Most diabetes apps in this sample addressed diabetes management and therapeutics, and paid apps were more likely than free apps to use plain language strategies, to label links clearly, and to have at least 1 feature (a “back” button) that helps with the organization.
Paid apps were more likely than free apps to use strategies that should be more useful and engaging for people with low health literacy. Future work can investigate ways to make free diabetes mobile apps more user-friendly and accessible.
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