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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 285-292

Systematic review and scientific rating of commercial apps available in India for diabetes prevention


1 Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Metabolism, Diabetes and Reproduction, Imperial College London, London, UK
3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, London, UK; Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Ranjani
Sr. Scientist and Head—Translational Research, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Conron Smith Rd, Chennai 600086, Tamil Nadu.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JOD.JOD_68_21

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Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the quality of currently available health apps for prevention of type 2 diabetes among Asian Indians using validated rating scales. Materials and Methods: Using the keywords, “diabetes prevention,” “healthy lifestyle,” and “fitness,” a total of 1486 apps available in India via Google Play were assessed for eligibility by two independent reviewers. After initial screening using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, 50 apps underwent a pre-specified rating based on user reviews, number of downloads, and app size. Sixteen apps that scored ≥ 9 were shortlisted for further review using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). The mean MARS scores (for categories I and II) were used to identify the top ranked apps. Results: The mean score for Category I of MARS rating was highest for “Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking” (4.55/5). This was followed by “Healthifyme—Diet Plan, Health, and Weight Loss” (4.45/5). For Category II of MARS, “Diabetes M,” “Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking,” “Calorie Counter—My Fitness Pal,” and “Healthifyme—Diet Plan, Health, and Weight Loss” all scored equally well. On comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each of these applications, “Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking” and “Healthifyme—Diet Plan, Health, and Weight Loss” again ranked the best. Conclusion: Our review identifies two commercially available apps “Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking” and “Healthifyme—Diet Plan, Health, and Weight Loss” as being user friendly and good quality. Although encouraging, further research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of these apps for the prevention of diabetes.


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