A systematic review of the smartphone applications available for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) and their assessment using the mobile app rating scale (MARS)

Samira Davalbhakta, Shailesh Advani, Shobhit Kumar, Vishwesh Agarwal, Samruddhi Bhoyar, Elizabeth Fedirko, Durga Misra, Ashish Goel, Latika Gupta, Vikas Agarwal

Research output: Working paperPreprint

Abstract

The global impact of COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need to rapidly develop and improve utilization of mobile applications across the healthcare continuum to address rising barriers of access to care due to social distancing challenges and allow continuity in sharing of health information, assist with COVID-19 activities including contact tracing, and providing useful information as needed. Here we provide an overview of mobile applications being currently utilized for COVID-19 related activities. We performed a systematic review of the literature and mobile platforms to assess mobile applications been currently utilized for COVID-19, and quality assessment of these applications using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) for overall quality, Engagement, Functionality, Aesthetics, and Information. Finally, we provide an overview of the key salient features that should be included in mobile applications being developed for future use. Our search identified 63 apps that are currently being used for COVID-19. Of these, 25 were selected from the Google play store and Apple App store in India, and 19 each from the UK and US. 18 apps were developed for sharing up to date information on COVID-19, and 8 were used for contact tracing while 9 apps showed features of both. On MARS Scale, overall scores ranged from 2.4 to 4.8 with apps scoring high in areas of functionality and lower in Engagement. Future steps should involve developing and testing of mobile applications using assessment tools like the MARS scale and the study of their impact on health behaviors and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
PublishermedRxiv
Pages1-20
Number of pages20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • smartphone application
  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • contact tracing
  • mobile application rating scale

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