Mobile Apps May Expand Dermatology Practice

Search identified 229 dermatology-related apps ranging from reference to diagnosis

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile apps may offer an opportunity to expand delivery of dermatological care, according to research published online Sept. 25 in JAMA Dermatology.

In an effort to determine the number, type, and price of dermatology-related mobile apps, Ann Chang Brewer, M.D., from the University of Arizona in Phoenix, and colleagues queried dermatology-related search terms in online app stores of the most commonly used mobile platforms developed by Apple, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, and Windows.

The researchers identified 229 dermatology-related apps. Apps were categorized as general dermatology reference (26.6 percent), self-surveillance/diagnosis (17.9 percent), disease guide (17.0 percent), educational aid (8.7 percent), sunscreen/ultraviolet recommendation (8.3 percent), calculator (5.2 percent), teledermatology (3.5 percent), conference (2.6 percent), journal (2.6 percent), photograph storage/sharing (2.2 percent), dermoscopy (0.9 percent), and pathology (0.9 percent). The most reviewed apps included Ultraviolet ~ UV Index (355 reviews), VisualDx (306), SPF (128), iSore (61), and SpotMole (50). Paid apps (48.9 percent) ranged from $0.99 to $139.99 (median, $2.99), with the remainder of apps (51.1 percent) offered for free. Half of apps were targeted to the patient (51.1 percent), 41.0 percent to health care providers, and 7.9 percent to both.

"The widespread variety and popularity of mobile apps demonstrate a great potential to expand the practice and delivery of dermatologic care," the authors write.

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