Quality and use of free smoking cessation apps for smartphones

Dybesh Regmi, Clive Tobutt, Sami Shaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Smartphone Apps are one of the tools available to support patients who wish to quit smoking. Content analysis studies have indicated multiple deficiencies within these Apps including minimal use of evidence-based research and Nicotine Dependence Treatment Provider (NDTP) in App development. The aim of this study was to determine quality and features of smoking cessation Apps available on Android ® and iOS ® platforms.Methods: The first fifty free smoking cessation Apps available for download using the search term smoking cessation on Google Play Store and Apple App Store were chosen. Each of these Apps was analyzed and categorized based on ratings, target audience age, language, and a variety of tracking functionalities noted on the Apps. Indications and suggestions regarding either the use of NDTP or evidence-based behavior change protocols were noted.Results: There were no significant differences in the features of smoking cessation Apps on Android and iOS. Only 15 percent of all Apps analyzed on both platforms indicated some involvement of NDTP and there was no difference between the two platforms. More than 50 percent of Apps studied were downloaded over half a million times and the average user rating was 3.89/5.00 for Android and 3.72/5.00 for iOS with no significant difference.Conclusions: Most smoking cessation Apps in both platforms offer basic tracking functionalities with limited motivational tips. Only a handful of Apps have moved beyond this role and while their development is applaudable much innovation remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-480
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Android
  • Mobile applications
  • Smoking cessation
  • iOS
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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