Evaluation of Fetal Movement Tracking Mobile Applications Using an Adapted APPLICATIONS Scoring System [31J]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Fetal movement tracking is commonly encouraged by clinicians as a means of antenatal surveillance. We sought to identify the most comprehensive and top-rated mobile applications for fetal movement tracking that are available for patient and research use.

METHODS:

Application distribution platforms were searched systematically and a list of fetal movement tracking applications was created. Comprehensiveness was by inclusion of: guidelines from professional societies, real-time tracking functions, mechanisms for manual entry of data, and the ability to monitor trends, the ability to export data. We used a modified APPLICATIONS scoring system to evaluate the comprehensiveness, accessibility, and functionality of qualifying applications.

RESULTS:

A total of 104 individual fetal movement tracking applications were identified on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Of these, twenty-six were identified as being available on both operating systems. Seven applications were eliminated for not being free or for being associated with a specific healthcare center. Of the remaining applications, no application received a perfect score on the APPLICATIONS scale and there was significant heterogeneity in the completeness of each application. Comprehensive pregnancy tracker applications were more likely to be complete than stand-alone fetal movement tracking applications.

CONCLUSION:

Identification of the most comprehensive and user-friendly mobile applications for tracking fetal movement could allow for greater patient compliance and the ability to perform more comprehensive research in the potential benefits of fetal movement monitoring.

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