EULAR points to consider for the development, evaluation and implementation of mobile health applications aiding self-management in people living with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases
Background Mobile health applications (apps) are 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
Methods A systematic literature review of app content and
development strategies was conducted, followed by patient
focus group and an online survey. Based on this information
and along with task force expert opinion, PtC were formulated
in a face-to-face meeting by a multidisciplinary task force
panel of experts, including two patient research partners. 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. Three PtC are related to patient safety, considered
as a critical issue by the panel. Three are related to relevance
of the content and functionalities. The requirement for
transparency around app development and funding sources,
along with involvement of relevant health professionals, were
also raised. Ease of app access across ages and abilities was
highlighted, in addition to considering the cost benefit of apps
from the outset. The level of agreement was from 8.8 to 9.9
out of 10.
Conclusion These EULAR PtC provide guidance on important
aspects that should be considered for the development,
evaluation and implementation of existing and new apps.