Background In the expanding era of e-health, a wide range of mobile health applications (apps) have become available to enable people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) to better self-manage their health. However, guidance on the development and evaluation of such apps is lacking.
Objectives The objective of this EULAR task force was to establish points to consider (PtC) for the development, evaluation and implementation of apps for self-management of RMDs.
Methods A systematic literature review of app content and development strategies was conducted, followed by a qualitative study with six patients and an online survey of people living with RMDs (n=394). Based on these data and expert opinion, the PtC were formulated in a face-to-face meeting in November 2018 by a multidisciplinary TF panel of experts, including patients, from 10 countries. The level of agreement among the panel in regard to each PtC was established by anonymous online voting.
Results Three overarching principles and 10 PtC were formulated (Table). Out of the 10 PtC, three were related to patient safety (1,5,6), considered as a critical issue by the panel, along with accuracy of information provided by apps. Three were related to relevance of the content and functionalities (2,7,9) and the importance of apps being tailored to the individual needs of people with RMDs. The requirement for transparency around app developers and funding sources (3,4), along with involvement of relevant health professionals were also raised. Ease of app access across ages and abilities was highlighted (8), in addition to considering the cost-benefit of apps from the outset (10). The level of agreement was high (Table).
Conclusion These PtC provide guidance on important aspects that should be considered for the development of new apps, the quality assessment of existing apps, as well as for further development of existing apps. As part of the dissemination phase, these PtC will be shared with a larger group of health professionals, patients and app developers and for wider consensus.
Acknowledgement EULAR for funding this project
Disclosure of Interests Aurelie Najm: None declared, Elena Nikiphorou: None declared, Marie Kostine: None declared, Christophe Richez: None declared, John Pauling: None declared, Axel Finckh Grant/research support from: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Inc, Consultant for: AbbVie, A2Bio, Bristol-Myers Squibb, MSD, Roche, Pfizer Inc, and UCB, Valentin Ritschl: None declared, Yeliz Prior: None declared, Petra Balazova: None declared, Simon Stones Consultant for: SS has provided consultancy services to Envision Pharma Group, though this is not related to the contents of this abstract., Speakers bureau: SS has undertaken speaking engagements for Actelion, eyeforpharma, Four Health, Janssen and Roche, though these are not related to the contents of this abstract., Zoltán Szekanecz Grant/research support from: Pfizer, UCB, Consultant for: Pfizer, Abbvie, Roche, Sanofi, Lilly, Novartis, Speakers bureau: Pfizer, Abbvie, Roche, Sanofi, Lilly, Novartis, Annamaria Iagnocco: None declared, Sofia Ramiro Grant/research support from: MSD, Consultant for: AbbVie, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Francisca Sivera: None declared, maxime dougados Grant/research support from: Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, AbbVie, and UCB Pharma, Consultant for: Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, AbbVie, and UCB Pharma, Loreto Carmona Grant/research support from: Abbvie, Actelion, Astellas, BMS, Eisay, Gebro Pharma, Grünenthal, Leo Pharma, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and UCB Pharma, Paid instructor for: Novartis, Gerd Rüdiger Burmester Consultant for: Roche, Sanofi-Genzyme, Speakers bureau: Roche, Sanofi-Genzyme, Laure Gossec Grant/research support from: AbbVie, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Sanofi, and UCB, Consultant for: AbbVie, Biogen, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, and UCB, Consultant for: L Gossec has received honoraria from Celgene as investigator for this study, Francis Berenbaum: None declared
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