Currently submitted to: JMIR Aging
Date Submitted: Jun 28, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 2, 2019 - Aug 27, 2019
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Systematic Analysis of Existing Smartphone Apps for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias to Support Self-Care Management
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/RD) are progressive neurocognitive disorders which are currently affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide. Smartphone applications (apps) have been well-integrated into daily lives and can be used to deliver and/or promote health care. There is growing use of technology to provide care and support to AD/RD patients and their families, though limited work has been done to evaluate the current state of technologies for used for supporting patients with AD/RD patients.
This study aimed to review the apps designed for AD/RD patients and analyze the benefits and challenges to such technological solutions.
A systematic approach was applied to review the availability, content/features, and quality of smartphone apps to support self-care among AD/RD patients.
Fourteen apps were included from an initial search of 245 apps. The top three features were alert (64.3%), self-care tips (42.9%), and social network capacity (35.7%). On average, the readability of the apps was 10th grade (SD = 3.06). The overall quality was 3.71 out of 5 (SD= 1.37).
Our findings suggested that current available apps for AD/RD patients may not meet complex needs and may be difficult to use, given the possible impaired communication ability associated with AD/RD. Therefore, high-quality apps need to be developed and rigorously evaluated for feasibility and efficacy. Future directions of practice to support this population were discussed.
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