Ask PCOS: Identifying Need to Inform Evidence-Based App Development for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Abstract

Background People are increasingly seeking health information and managing their health through electronic technologies. We aimed to determine if women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) identified a need for PCOS-related mobile health apps and to evaluate related apps currently available.

Design A national survey of women and a review of apps available on the iOS and Android platforms.

Setting Community recruitment in Australia in 2016 and review of mobile apps available in 2017.

Sample The survey received 264 responses. Sixteen apps related to PCOS were evaluated.

Main Outcome MeasuresSurvey: Women's likeliness to use mobile health apps, specifically a PCOS-related app and preferred features of apps. App review: Mapping of available apps and evaluation using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS).

Results Of 264 respondents, almost all women had a smartphone (98%), 72% had previously used an app to manage their health, and most (91%) would use a PCOS-specific app if available. The most important feature was the availability of current, evidence-based information. Current apps on PCOS lack provision of quality information.

Conclusion Women with PCOS would use a PCOS-specific app of good quality that responds to their needs and facilitates self-care; however, currently available apps are unlikely to meet their information needs.

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