Mobile applications for pain management: an app analysis for clinical usage.

Mobile applications for pain management: an app analysis for clinical usage.

Publication date: May 30, 2019

Pain is the most common and distressing symptom for patients in all clinical settings. The dearth of health informatics tools to support acute and chronic pain management may be contributing to the chronic pain and opioid abuse crises. The purpose of this study is to qualitatively evaluate the content and functionality of mobile pain management apps.

The Apple App Store and the Google Play Store were searched to identify pain management apps. The inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) that apps include a pain diary function allowing users to record pain episodes, (2) are available in either Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and (3) are available in the English language. We excluded apps if they were limited to only specific forms of pain or specific diseases.

A total of 36 apps met the inclusion criteria. Most of the apps served as pain diary tools to record the key characteristics of pain. The pain diary features of the apps were grouped into nine categories: the recordings of pain intensity, pain location, pain quality, pain’s impacts on daily life, other features of pain, other related symptoms, medication, patients’ habits and basic information, and other miscellaneous functions. The apps displayed various problems in use. The problem of not involving healthcare professionals in app development has not been resolved. Approximately 31% of apps including a pain diary function engaged clinicians in app development. Only 19% involved end-users in development and then only in an ad-hoc way. Only one third of the apps supported the cross-platforms, none of the apps supported clinician access to graphical pain data visualization, none secured HIPAA compliance, and none endorsed the PEG tool for primary care physicians’ chronic pain management.

Most of the 36 pain management apps demonstrated various problems including user interface and security. Many apps lacked clinician and end-user involvement in app development impacting the clinical utility of these apps. We could not find any pain apps suitable for clinical usage despite high demand from clinicians due to the US opioid crisis.

Open Access PDF

Zhao, P., , Yoo, Lancey, R., and Varghese, E. Mobile applications for pain management: an app analysis for clinical usage. 03562. 2019 BMC Med Inform Decis Mak (19):1.

Concepts Keywords
Ad Hoc Healthcare professionals app
Apple App Store Pain
BMC Pain management
Chronic Pain Pain
Cross Perception
Google Play Store Nociception
Healthcare Acute pain
HIPAA Pain management
Informatics Palliative care
Mobile Chronic pain
Opioid App store
Pain Mobile devices
Pain Management
PEG
Primary Care
Symptom

Semantics

Type Source Name
gene UNIPROT TBPL1
disease MESH literacy
gene UNIPROT NR3C2
disease MESH musculoskeletal pain
disease MESH depression
gene UNIPROT OCA2
gene UNIPROT MESD
disease MESH low back pain
gene UNIPROT CSTB
disease DOID pme
gene UNIPROT GEN1
disease DOID dementia
disease MESH dementia
disease MESH death
gene UNIPROT F11R
gene UNIPROT COL9A3
gene UNIPROT COMP
gene UNIPROT COL9A1
gene UNIPROT COL9A2
gene UNIPROT SCN8A
gene UNIPROT OTC
gene UNIPROT FHL5
gene UNIPROT POTEM
gene UNIPROT ACTG1
gene UNIPROT SERPINA3
gene UNIPROT ACTBL2
gene UNIPROT ACTG2
gene UNIPROT ACOT7
gene UNIPROT PROC
gene UNIPROT APC
disease MESH tics
gene UNIPROT RXFP2
gene UNIPROT ARSA
drug DRUGBANK Acetylsalicylic acid
gene UNIPROT ATIC
gene UNIPROT CPOX
gene UNIPROT PTPN6
gene UNIPROT AMBP
gene UNIPROT SERPINF2
drug DRUGBANK Alpha-1-proteinase inhibitor
disease MESH visual
gene UNIPROT NR1H4
gene UNIPROT ADRB2
gene UNIPROT BFAR
drug DRUGBANK Gold
disease MESH community
drug DRUGBANK Water
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH medication adherence
disease MESH social interaction
gene UNIPROT AICDA
disease MESH multiple
gene UNIPROT MARK1
gene UNIPROT SGSM3
gene UNIPROT WDHD1
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
gene UNIPROT DNMT1
gene UNIPROT CD69
gene UNIPROT CD5L
gene UNIPROT LITAF
gene UNIPROT BPI
drug DRUGBANK Methyltestosterone
disease MESH back pain
gene UNIPROT MENT
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Fentanyl
gene UNIPROT SSRP1
drug DRUGBANK Polyethylene glycol
disease MESH development
disease MESH habits
gene UNIPROT RNMT
gene UNIPROT MET
gene UNIPROT SLTM
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
gene UNIPROT CTSB
disease DOID opioid abuse
disease MESH opioid abuse
disease MESH chronic pain
gene UNIPROT APP

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