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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110066

ABSTRACT

A number of mobile health apps related to coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been developed, but research into app content analytics for effective surveillance and management is still in its preliminary stages. The present study aimed to identify the purpose and functions of the currently available COVID-19 apps using content analysis. The secondary aim was to propose directions for the future development of apps that aid infectious disease surveillance and control with a focus on enhancing the app content and quality. Prior to conducting an app search in the App Store and the Google Play Store, we reviewed previous studies on COVID-19 apps found in Google Scholar and PubMed to examine the main purposes of the apps. Using the five selected keywords based on the review, we searched the two app stores to retrieve eligible COVID-19 apps including those already addressed in the reviewed literature. We conducted descriptive and content analyses of the selected apps. We classified the purpose types of the COVID-19 apps into the following five categories: Information provision, tracking, monitoring, mental health management, and engagement. We identified 890 apps from the review articles and the app stores: 47 apps met the selection criteria and were included in the content analysis. Among the selected apps, iOS apps outnumbered Android apps, 27 apps were government-developed, and most of the apps were created in the United States. The most common function for the iOS apps (63.6%) and Android apps (62.5%) was to provide COVID-19-related knowledge. The most common function among the tracking apps was to notify users of contact with infected people by the iOS apps (40.9%) and Android apps (37.5%). About 29.5% of the iOS apps and 25.0% of the Android apps were used to record symptoms and self-diagnose. Significantly fewer apps targeted mental health management and engagement. Six iOS apps (6/44, 13.6%) and four Android apps (4/24, 16.7%) provided behavioral guidelines about the pandemic. Two iOS apps (2/44, 4.5%) and two Android apps (2/24, 8.3%) featured communication functions. The present content analysis revealed that most of the apps provided unilateral information and contact tracing or location tracking. Several apps malfunctioned. Future research and development of COVID-19 apps or apps for other emerging infectious diseases should address the quality and functional improvements, which should begin with continuous monitoring and actions to mitigate any technical errors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology
2.
Yonsei Med J ; 63(11): 1050-1057, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109728

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Maintaining or increasing user adherence to digital healthcare services is of great concern to service providers. This study aims to verify whether the donation model is an effective strategy to increase adherence to physical exercise using a mobile application. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 5618 users of a motion-detecting mobile exercise coaching application participated in a donation or self-reward exercise challenge with the same exercise protocol. The workout consisted of 50 squats daily for 14 days. The user's exercise was monitored through a smartphone camera, providing real-time visual and audio feedback. In the donation group, 6 USD was donated to the economically disadvantaged if a participant completed their workout each day. In the self-reward group, three people who completed the program and 20 people who completed ≥12 days of exercise were randomly selected and provided with goods worth 60 USD and 4.3 USD of online currency, respectively. RESULTS: The average daily exercise completion rate (% of participants who completed daily exercise) in the donation group was 1.8 times higher than that of the self-reward group (donation, 41.7%; self-reward, 22.7%; p<0.0001). The donation group completed more days of the program (donation, 5.8; self-reward, 3.2; p<0.0001). The completion rate of both groups decreased with time and decreased most on day two (donation, -9.9%; self-reward, -14.5%). CONCLUSION: The donation model effectively promoted adherence to mobile app-based exercise. This donation model is expected to effectively enhance user adherence to digital healthcare services.


Subject(s)
Mentoring , Mobile Applications , Humans , Mentoring/methods , Smartphone , Exercise
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42839, 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the Riyadh Declaration, digital health technologies were prioritized in many countries to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital health apps for telemedicine and video consultations help reduce potential disease spread in routine health care, including follow-up care in orthopedic and trauma surgery. In addition to the satisfaction, efficiency, and safety of telemedicine, its economic and environmental effects are highly relevant to decision makers, particularly for the goal of reaching carbon neutrality of health care systems. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide the first comprehensive health economic and environmental analysis of video consultations in follow-up care after knee and shoulder interventions in an orthopedic and trauma surgery department of a German university hospital. The analysis is conducted from a societal perspective. We analyze both economic and environmental impacts of video consultations, taking into account the goal of carbon neutrality for the German health care system by 2030. METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing follow-up care with digital health app video consultations (intervention group) to conventional face-to-face consultations in the clinic (control group). Economic impact included the analysis of travel and time costs and production losses. Examination of the environmental impact comprised the emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, and the calculation of environmental costs. Sensitivity analysis included calculations with a higher cost per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, which gives equal weight to the welfare of present and future generations. RESULTS: Data from 52 patients indicated that, from the patients' point of view, telemedicine helped reduce travel costs, time costs, and production losses, resulting in mean cost savings of €76.52 per video consultation. In addition, emissions of 11.248 kg of greenhouse gases, 0.070 kg of carbon monoxide, 0.011 kg of volatile hydrocarbons, 0.028 kg of nitrogen oxides, and 0.0004 kg of particulates could be saved per patient through avoided travel. This resulted in savings of environmental costs between €3.73 and €9.53 per patient. CONCLUSIONS: We presented the first comprehensive analysis of economic and environmental effects of telemedicine in the follow-up care of patients in orthopedic and trauma surgery in Germany. Video consultations were found to reduce the environmental footprint of follow-up care; saved travel costs, travel time, and time costs for patients; and helped to lower production losses. Our findings can support the decision-making on the use of digital health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, providing decision makers with data for both economic and environmental effects. Thanks to the pragmatic design of our study, our findings can be applied to a wide range of clinical contexts and potential digital health applications that substitute outpatient hospital visits with video consultations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00023445; https://tinyurl.com/4pcvhz4n.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Greenhouse Gases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Aftercare , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Monoxide , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine/methods , Germany , Environment
4.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(11): e41689, 2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public was concerned about the mental health impacts of unemployment due to COVID-19 and the stress essential workers experienced during this time. Several reports indicated that people in distress were turning to digital technology, but there was little evidence about the impact of these tools on mitigating distress. OBJECTIVE: This study seeks to determine the acceptability, feasibility, usability, and effectiveness of mobile mental health apps for decreasing mental health symptoms in essential workers and unemployed individuals with suicide risk. METHODS: We recruited participants who indicated that they were unemployed because of COVID-19 or were COVID-19-designated essential workers. Participants were randomized to 1 of 4 free commercial mobile apps for managing distress that were (1) highly rated by PsyberGuide and (2) met the criteria for intervention features these participants indicated were desirable in a previous survey. Participants used the apps for 4 weeks and completed baseline and 4-week self-assessments of depression, anxiety emotional regulation, and suicide risk. RESULTS: We found no differences between the apps in any outcome but did find significant changes in depression and anxiety over time (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ]-9: estimate=-1.5, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.1 to -1.8, P<.001; Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale [GAD]-7: estimate=-1.3, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.0 to -1.6, P<.001). We found no significant changes in suicidal behavior (Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised [SBQ-R]) or emotional regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale - Short Form [DERS-SF]) for the 4 weeks. We did find a significant dose-response pattern for changes in depression and anxiety. Using the app at least once a week resulted in greater improvements in treatment conditions over time on depression (estimate=-0.6, SE 0.2, 95% CI 1.0-0.2, P=.003) and anxiety (estimate=0.1, SE 0.2, 95% CI 0.4-0.6, P=.78). There was no association between app frequency and changes in suicidal behavior (SBQ-R) or emotional regulation (DERS-SF). We further found a significant difference between the conditions with regard to app usability, with the control app being the most usable (meanBeautiful Mood 72.9, SD 16.7; meanCOVID Coach 71.2, SD 15.4; meanCalm 66.8, SD 17.3; mean7 Cups 65.2, SD 17.7). We found no significant differences for app acceptability or appropriateness. CONCLUSIONS: Few studies have evaluated prospectively the utility and usability of commercial apps for mood. This study found that free, self-guided commercial mobile mental health apps are seen as usable, but no one app is superior to the other. Although we found that regular use is indicated for effects on depression and anxiety to occur in those who are more symptomatic, regression to the mean cannot be ruled out. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04536935; https://tinyurl.com/mr36zx3s.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Mental Health , Unemployment , Pandemics
5.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e41566, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109575

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Meditation apps have surged in popularity in recent years, with an increasing number of individuals turning to these apps to cope with stress, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meditation apps are the most commonly used mental health apps for depression and anxiety. However, little is known about who is well suited to these apps. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop and test a data-driven algorithm to predict which individuals are most likely to benefit from app-based meditation training. METHODS: Using randomized controlled trial data comparing a 4-week meditation app (Healthy Minds Program [HMP]) with an assessment-only control condition in school system employees (n=662), we developed an algorithm to predict who is most likely to benefit from HMP. Baseline clinical and demographic characteristics were submitted to a machine learning model to develop a "Personalized Advantage Index" (PAI) reflecting an individual's expected reduction in distress (primary outcome) from HMP versus control. RESULTS: A significant group × PAI interaction emerged (t658=3.30; P=.001), indicating that PAI scores moderated group differences in outcomes. A regression model that included repetitive negative thinking as the sole baseline predictor performed comparably well. Finally, we demonstrate the translation of a predictive model into personalized recommendations of expected benefit. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the results revealed the potential of a data-driven algorithm to inform which individuals are most likely to benefit from a meditation app. Such an algorithm could be used to objectively communicate expected benefits to individuals, allowing them to make more informed decisions about whether a meditation app is appropriate for them. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04426318; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04426318.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Meditation , Mobile Applications , Humans , Smartphone , Meditation/methods , Meditation/psychology , Pandemics
6.
Rev Gaucha Enferm ; 43: e20210289, 2022.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109453

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To construct and validate a mobile application for health education about COVID-19. METHOD: Methodological study, developed in six stages, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, between June 2020 and August 2021, with 20 health professionals, using an electronic form. Validation took place through the Content Validity Index, whose indexes should be greater than or equal to 80%. RESULTS: The application called ROBOVID was constructed and validated by expert judges on the subject, with a Content Validity Index of 100% for the domains of content and cultural adequacy, and with a variation of 90 to 100% for the domains of language, illustration, and presentation, achieving 97% on the Overall Validity Index and 98% on the "ten golden rules" for use in health education. CONCLUSION: The ROBOVID application proved to be a valid technological tool for health education about COVID-19 among the Brazilian population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Brazil , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Education
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099507

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to governments in terms of contact tracing. Like many other countries, Germany introduced a mobile-phone-based digital contact tracing solution ("Corona Warn App"; CWA) in June 2020. At the time of its release, however, it was hard to assess how effective such a solution would be, and a political and societal debate arose regarding its efficiency, also in light of its high costs. This study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of the CWA, considering prevented infections, hospitalizations, intensive care treatments, and deaths. In addition, its efficiency was to be assessed from a monetary point of view, and factors with a significant influence on the effectiveness and efficiency of the CWA were to be determined. Mathematical and statistical modeling was used to calculate infection cases prevented by the CWA, along with the numbers of prevented complications (hospitalizations, intensive care treatments, deaths) using publicly available CWA download numbers and incidences over time. The monetized benefits of these prevented cases were quantified and offset against the costs incurred. Sensitivity analysis was used to identify factors critically influencing these parameters. Between June 2020 and April 2022, the CWA prevented 1.41 million infections, 17,200 hospitalizations, 4600 intensive care treatments, and 7200 deaths. After offsetting costs and benefits, the CWA had a net present value of EUR 765 m in April 2022. Both the effectiveness and efficiency of the CWA are decisively and disproportionately positively influenced by the highest possible adoption rate among the population and a high rate of positive infection test results shared via the CWA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Contact Tracing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Socioeconomic Factors
8.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(10): e40558, 2022 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099001

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital contact tracing (DCT) apps have been implemented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research has focused on understanding acceptance and adoption of these apps, but more work is needed to understand the factors that may contribute to their sustained use. This is key to public health because DCT apps require a high uptake rate to decrease the transmission of the virus within the general population. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand changes in the use of the National Health Service Test & Trace (T&T) COVID-19 DCT app and explore how public trust in the app evolved over a 1-year period. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal mixed methods study consisting of a digital survey in December 2020 followed by another digital survey and interview in November 2021, in which responses from 9 participants were explored in detail. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. This paper focuses on the thematic analysis to unpack the reasoning behind participants' answers. RESULTS: In this paper, 5 themes generated through thematic analysis are discussed: flaws in the T&T app, usefulness and functionality affecting trust in the app, low trust in the UK government, varying degrees of trust in other stakeholders, and public consciousness and compliance dropping over time. Mistrust evolved from participants experiencing sociotechnical flaws in the app and led to concerns about the app's usefulness. Similarly, mistrust in the government was linked to perceived poor pandemic handling and the creation and procurement of the app. However, more variability in trust in other stakeholders was highlighted depending on perceived competence and intentions. For example, Big Tech companies (ie, Apple and Google), large hospitality venues, and private contractors were seen as more capable, but participants mistrust their intentions, and small hospitality venues, local councils, and the National Health Service (ie, public health system) were seen as well-intentioned but there is mistrust in their ability to handle pandemic matters. Participants reported complying, or not, with T&T and pandemic guidance to different degrees but, overall, observed a drop in compliance over time. CONCLUSIONS: These findings contribute to the wider implications of changes in DCT app use over time for public health. Findings suggest that trust in the wider T&T app ecosystem could be linked to changes in the use of the app; however, further empirical and theoretical work needs to be done to generalize the results because of the small, homogeneous sample. Initial novelty effects occurred with the app, which lessened over time as public concern and media representation of the pandemic decreased and normalization occurred. Trust in the sociotechnical capabilities of the app, stakeholders involved, and salience maintenance of the T&T app in conjunction with other measures are needed for sustained use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , Ecosystem , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , State Medicine , Trust , United Kingdom
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(10): e40233, 2022 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089642

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, many countries have launched apps to trace contacts of COVID-19 infections. Each contact-tracing app (CTA) faces a variety of issues owing to different national policies or technologies for tracing contacts. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to investigate all the CTAs used to trace contacts in various countries worldwide, including the technology used by each CTA, the availability of knowledge about the CTA from official websites, the interoperability of CTAs in various countries, and the infection detection rates and policies of the specific country that launched the CTA, and to summarize the current problems of the apps based on the information collected. METHODS: We investigated CTAs launched in all countries through Google, Google Scholar, and PubMed. We experimented with all apps that could be installed and compiled information about apps that could not be installed or used by consulting official websites and previous literature. We compared the information collected by us on CTAs with relevant previous literature to understand and analyze the data. RESULTS: After screening 166 COVID-19 apps developed in 197 countries worldwide, we selected 98 (59%) apps from 95 (48.2%) countries, of which 63 (66.3%) apps were usable. The methods of contact tracing are divided into 3 main categories: Bluetooth, geolocation, and QR codes. At the technical level, CTAs face 3 major problems. First, the distance and time for Bluetooth- and geolocation-based CTAs to record contact are generally set to 2 meters and 15 minutes; however, this distance should be lengthened, and the time should be shortened for more infectious variants. Second, Bluetooth- or geolocation-based CTAs also face the problem of lack of accuracy. For example, individuals in 2 adjacent vehicles during traffic jams may be at a distance of ≤2 meters to make the CTA trace contact, but the 2 users may actually be separated by car doors, which could prevent transmission and infection. In addition, we investigated infection detection rates in 33 countries, 16 (48.5%) of which had significantly low infection detection rates, wherein CTAs could have lacked effectiveness in reducing virus propagation. Regarding policy, CTAs in most countries can only be used in their own countries and lack interoperability among other countries. In addition, 7 countries have already discontinued CTAs, but we believe that it was too early to discontinue them. Regarding user acceptance, 28.6% (28/98) of CTAs had no official source of information that could reduce user acceptance. CONCLUSIONS: We surveyed all CTAs worldwide, identified their technological policy and acceptance issues, and provided solutions for each of the issues we identified. This study aimed to provide useful guidance and suggestions for updating the existing CTAs and the subsequent development of new CTAs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Contact Tracing/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy
10.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0276661, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089439

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital contact-tracing has been employed in many countries to monitor and manage the spread of the disease. However, to be effective such a system must be adopted by a substantial proportion of the population; therefore, public trust plays a key role. This paper examines the NHS COVID-19 smartphone app, the digital contact-tracing solution in the UK. A series of interviews were carried out prior to the app's release (n = 12) and a large scale survey examining attitudes towards the app (n = 1,001) was carried out after release. Extending previous work reporting high level attitudes towards the app, this paper shows that prevailing negative attitudes prior to release persisted, and affected the subsequent use of the app. They also show significant relationships between trust, app features, and the wider social and societal context. There is lower trust amongst non-users of the app and trust correlates to many other aspects of the app, a lack of trust could hinder adoption and effectiveness of digital contact-tracing. The design of technology requiring wide uptake, e.g., for public health, should embed considerations of the complexities of trust and the context in which the technology will be used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Contact Tracing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17875, 2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087298

ABSTRACT

To address the current pandemic, multiple studies have focused on the development of new mHealth apps to help in curbing the number of infections, these applications aim to accelerate the identification and self-isolation of people exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus known to cause COVID-19, by being in close contact with infected individuals. The main objectives of this paper are: (1) Analyze the current status of COVID-19 apps available on the main virtual stores: Google Play Store and App Store for Spain, and (2) Propose a novel mobile application that allows interaction and doctor-patient follow-up without the need for real-time consultations (face-to-face or telephone). In this research, a search for eHealth and telemedicine apps related to Covid-19 was performed in the main online stores: Google Play Store and App Store, until May 2021. Keywords were entered into the search engines of the online stores and relevant apps were selected for study using a PRISMA methodology. For the design and implementation of the proposed app named COVINFO, the main weaknesses of the apps studied were taken into account in order to propose a novel and useful app for healthcare systems. The search yielded a total of 50 apps, of which 24 were relevant to this study, of which 23 are free and 54% are available for Android and iOS operating systems (OS). The proposed app has been developed for mobile devices with Android OS being compatible with Android 4.4 and higher. This app enables doctor-patient interaction and constant monitoring of the patient's progress without the need for calls, chats or face-to-face consultation in real time. This work addresses design and development of an application for the transmission of the user's symptoms to his regular doctor, based on the fact that only 16.6% of existing applications have this functionality. The COVINFO app offers a novel service: asynchronous doctor-patient communication, as well as constant monitoring of the patient's condition and evolution. This app makes it possible to better manage the time of healthcare personnel and avoid overcrowding in hospitals, with the aim of preventing the collapse of healthcare systems and the spread of the coronavirus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics/prevention & control , Telemedicine/methods
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081986

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives and restricted access to traditional psychological interventions. Hence there is an immediate and growing demand for accessible and scalable mental health solutions. Emotion-focused training for self-compassion and self-protection was developed and distributed using mobile phone technologies, and its effectiveness was tested. The available research sample consisted of 97 participants with a mean age of 26.06 years and a standard deviation of 10.53. Participants using the mobile app underwent a 14-day program aimed at reducing self-criticism while increasing self-compassion and self-protection. Pre- and post-measurements were collected. The results showed a statistically significant medium effect on self-compassion, self-criticism, and self-protection performance and a significant small effect on self-protection distress. The finding that a 14-day mobile app was able to foster well-being in the form of self-compassion, self-protection, and self-criticism is promising. It indicates the potential for individuals to obtain help through the use of remote tools such as MHapps for a fraction of the usual cost, at their own pace, and without other restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Adult , Self-Assessment , Empathy , Self-Compassion , Pandemics/prevention & control , Emotions
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081890

ABSTRACT

Relational Agents' (RAs) ability to maintain socio-emotional relationships with users can be an asset to COVID-19 patients. The goal of this research was to identify principles for designing an RA that can act as a health professional for a COVID-19 patient. We first identified tasks that such an RA can provide by interviewing 33 individuals, who had recovered from COVID-19. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. Based on the findings, four sets of hypothetical conversations were handcrafted to illustrate how the proposed RA will execute the identified tasks. These conversations were then evaluated by 43 healthcare professionals in a qualitative study. Thematic analysis was again used to identify characteristics that would be suitable for the proposed RA. The results suggest that the RA must: model clinical protocols; incorporate evidence-based interventions; inform, educate, and remind patients; build trusting relationships, and support their socio-emotional needs. The findings have implications for designing RAs for other healthcare contexts beyond the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , Communication , Qualitative Research
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42320, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080001

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The first UK COVID-19 lockdown had a polarizing impact on drinking behavior and may have impacted engagement with digital interventions to reduce alcohol consumption. OBJECTIVE: We examined the effect of lockdown on engagement, alcohol reduction, and the sociodemographic characteristics of users of the popular and widely available alcohol reduction app Drink Less. METHODS: This was a natural experiment. The study period spanned 468 days between March 24, 2019, and July 3, 2020, with the introduction of UK lockdown measures beginning on March 24, 2020. Users were 18 years or older, based in the United Kingdom, and interested in drinking less. Interrupted time series analyses using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) were conducted for each outcome variable (ie, sociodemographic characteristics, app downloads and engagement levels, alcohol consumption, and extent of alcohol reduction) for existing (downloaded the app prelockdown) and new (downloaded the app during the lockdown) users of the app. RESULTS: Among existing users of the Drink Less app, there were increases in the time spent on the app per day (B=0.01, P=.01), mean units of alcohol recorded per day (B>0.00 P=.02), and mean heavy drinking (>6 units) days (B>0.00, P=.02) during the lockdown. Previous declines in new app downloads plateaued during the lockdown (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=1.00, P=.18). Among new app users, there was an increase in the proportion of female users (B>0.00, P=.04) and those at risk of alcohol dependence (B>0.00, P=.01) and a decrease in the proportion of nonmanual workers (B>-0.00, P=.04). Among new app users, there were step increases in the mean number of alcohol units per day (B=20.12, P=.03), heavy-drinking days (B=1.38, P=.01), and the number of days the app was used (B=2.05, P=.02), alongside a step decrease in the percentage of available screens viewed (B=-0.03, P=.04), indicating users were using less of the intervention components within the app. CONCLUSIONS: Following the first UK lockdown, there was evidence of increases in engagement and alcohol consumption among new and existing users of the Drink Less app.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Female , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control
15.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0267766, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Widespread use of at-home rapid COVID-19 antigen tests has been proposed as an important public health intervention to interrupt chains of transmission. Antigen tests may be preferred over PCR because they provide on-demand results for relatively low cost and can identify people when they are most likely to be infectious, particularly when used daily. Yet the extent to which a frequent antigen testing intervention will result in a positive public health impact for COVID-19 will depend on high acceptability and high adherence to such regimens. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study assessing acceptability of and adherence to a daily at-home mobile-app connected rapid antigen testing regimen among employees of a US-based media company. Acceptability was assessed across seven domains of the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. RESULTS: Among 31 study participants, acceptability of the daily testing intervention was generally high, with participants reporting high perceived effectiveness, intervention coherence, and self-efficacy; positive affective attitude; acceptable degree of burden and opportunity cost; and assessing the intervention as ethical. 71% reported a preference to test daily using an at-home antigen test than weekly employment-based PCR. Mean adherence to the 21-day testing regimen was 88% with 43% of participants achieving 100% adherence, 48% testing at least every other day, and 10% testing less than every other day. CONCLUSIONS: Despite overall high acceptability and adherence, we identified three implementation challenges that must be addressed for frequent serial testing for COVID-19 to be implemented at scale and have a positive public health impact. First, users need guidance on how and when to adapt testing frequencies to different epidemiological conditions. Second, users and institutions need guidelines for how to safely store and share test results. Third, implementation of serial testing strategies must prioritize health equity and protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066092

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mobile health (mHealth) has been considered as a prominent concept in digital health and is widely used and easily accessible. Periodic follow-up visits, previously planned procedures, and rehabilitation services for stroke survivors have been cut down during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in this qualitative study we aimed to explore the need for a mobile application in stroke management by informal caregivers. METHODS: A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted from November 2020 to June 2021. Thirteen respondents were recruited from two public rehabilitation centers in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. In-depth interviews were conducted. A comprehensive representation of perspectives from the respondents was achieved through purposive sampling. The interviews were conducted in the Kelantanese dialect, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Thirteen participants were involved in the interviews. All of them agreed with the need for a mobile application in stroke management. They believed the future stroke application will help them to seek information, continuous stroke home care, and help in the welfare of caregivers and stroke patients. CONCLUSIONS: The current study revealed two themes with respective subthemes that were identified, namely, self-seeking for information and reasons for using a stroke mobile application in the future. This application helps in reducing healthcare costs, enhancing the rehabilitation process, facilitating patient engagement in decision making, and the continuous monitoring of patient health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Caregivers , Humans , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Stroke/therapy , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065988

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how our global societies rely upon the care and support of informal (unpaid) caregivers: in the UK alone, there are an estimated 6.5 million informal carers. The caring role is not just precarious, it is often associated with high levels of stress, poor/deteriorating health and crisis points (hospitalisations, worsening of health). Fittingly, there has been much research in recent years focusing on mental health supports. A lesser explored area is physical health and physical activity. To address this, we conducted a real-world feasibility, usability and acceptability study of a novel codesigned digital health app for caregivers to improve levels of physical activity. Our study was designed to test the prototype app use for three weeks, following participants across questionnaires/in app data/qualitative data. Our findings (from 27 caregivers) highlights key knowledge gaps around physical activity-national guidelines were not reaching populations studies and behavioural change techniques hold promise to help support caregivers in the longer term. Our collective results support the acceptability, usability and feasibility of the Carefit app and warrant further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers/psychology , Exercise , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Smartphone
18.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(10): e41282, 2022 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065331

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Approximately 800 million people, representing 11% of the world's population, are affected by mental health problems. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated problems and triggered a decline in well-being, with drastic increase in the incidence of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Approximately 20,000 mental health apps are listed in mobile app stores. However, no significant evaluation of mental health apps in French, spoken by approximately 300 million people, has been identified in the literature yet. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to review the mental health mobile apps currently available on the French Apple App Store and Google Play Store and to evaluate their quality using Mobile App Rating Scale-French (MARS-F). METHODS: Screening of mental health apps was conducted from June 10, 2022, to June 17, 2022, on the French Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A shortlist of 12 apps was identified using the criteria of selection and assessed using MARS-F by 9 mental health professionals. Intraclass correlation was used to evaluate interrater agreement. Mean (SD) scores and their distributions for each section and item were calculated. RESULTS: The highest scores for MARS-F quality were obtained by Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa (mean 3.85, SD 0.48), Evoluno (mean 3.54, SD 0.72), and Teale (mean 3.53, SD 0.87). Mean engagement scores (section A) ranged from 2.33 (SD 0.69) for Reflexe reussite to 3.80 (SD 0.61) for Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa. Mean aesthetics scores (section C) ranged from 2.52 (SD 0.62) for Mental Booster to 3.89 (SD 0.69) for Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa. Mean information scores (section D) ranged from 2.00 (SD 0.75) for Mental Booster to 3.46 (SD 0.77) for Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa. Mean Mobile App Rating Scale subjective quality (section E) score varied from 1.22 (SD 0.26) for VOS - journal de l'humeur to 2.69 (SD 0.84) for Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa. Mean app specificity (section F) score varied from 1.56 (SD 0.97) for Mental Booster to 3.31 (SD 1.22) for Evoluno. For all the mental health apps studied, except Soutien psy avec Mon Sherpa (11/12, 92%), the subjective quality score was always lower than the app specificity score, which was always lower than the MARS-F quality score, and that was lower than the rating score from the iPhone Operating System or Android app stores. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health professionals assessed that, despite the lack of scientific evidence, the mental health mobile apps available on the French Apple App Store and Google Play Store were of good quality. However, they are reluctant to use them in their professional practice. Additional investigations are needed to assess their compliance with recommendations and their long-term impact on users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics
19.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(11): e41004, 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital proximity-tracing apps have been deployed in multiple countries to assist with SARS-CoV-2 pandemic mitigation efforts. However, it is unclear how their performance and effectiveness were affected by changing pandemic contexts and new viral variants of concern. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to bridge these knowledge gaps through a countrywide digital proximity-tracing app effectiveness assessment, as guided by the World Health Organization/European Center for Prevention and Disease Control (WHO/ECDC) indicator framework to evaluate the public health effectiveness of digital proximity-tracing solutions. METHODS: We performed a descriptive analysis of the digital proximity-tracing app SwissCovid in Switzerland for 3 different periods where different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (ie, Alpha, Delta, and Omicron, respectively) were most prevalent. In our study, we refer to the indicator framework for the evaluation of public health effectiveness of digital proximity-tracing apps of the WHO/ECDC. We applied this framework to compare the performance and effectiveness indicators of the SwissCovid app. RESULTS: Average daily registered SARS-CoV-2 case rates during our assessment period from January 25, 2021, to March 19, 2022, were 20 (Alpha), 54 (Delta), and 350 (Omicron) per 100,000 inhabitants. The percentages of overall entered authentication codes from positive tests into the SwissCovid app were 9.9% (20,273/204,741), 3.9% (14,372/365,846), and 4.6% (72,324/1,581,506) during the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variant phases, respectively. Following receipt of an exposure notification from the SwissCovid app, 58% (37/64, Alpha), 44% (7/16, Delta), and 73% (27/37, Omicron) of app users sought testing or performed self-tests. Test positivity among these exposure-notified individuals was 19% (7/37) in the Alpha variant phase, 29% (2/7) in the Delta variant phase, and 41% (11/27) in the Omicron variant phase compared to 6.1% (228,103/3,755,205), 12% (413,685/3,443,364), and 41.7% (1,784,951/4,285,549) in the general population, respectively. In addition, 31% (20/64, Alpha), 19% (3/16, Delta), and 30% (11/37, Omicron) of exposure-notified app users reported receiving mandatory quarantine orders by manual contact tracing or through a recommendation by a health care professional. CONCLUSIONS: In constantly evolving pandemic contexts, the effectiveness of digital proximity-tracing apps in contributing to mitigating pandemic spread should be reviewed regularly and adapted based on changing requirements. The WHO/ECDC framework allowed us to assess relevant domains of digital proximity tracing in a holistic and systematic approach. Although the Swisscovid app mostly worked, as reasonably expected, our analysis revealed room for optimizations and further performance improvements. Future implementation of digital proximity-tracing apps should place more emphasis on social, psychological, and organizational aspects to reduce bottlenecks and facilitate their use in pandemic contexts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control
20.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(10): e37497, 2022 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054760

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal diseases are associated with substantial cost in health care. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic and further digitalization of gastrointestinal tract health care, mobile health apps could complement routine health care. Many gastrointestinal health care apps are already available in the app stores, but the quality, data protection, and reliability often remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to evaluate the quality characteristics as well as the privacy and security measures of mobile health apps for the management of gastrointestinal diseases. METHODS: A web crawler systematically searched for mobile health apps with a focus on gastrointestinal diseases. The identified mobile health apps were evaluated using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS). Furthermore, app characteristics, data protection, and security measures were collected. Classic user star rating was correlated with overall mobile health app quality. RESULTS: The overall quality of the mobile health apps (N=109) was moderate (mean 2.90, SD 0.52; on a scale ranging from 1 to 5). The quality of the subscales ranged from low (mean 1.89, SD 0.66) to good (mean 4.08, SD 0.57). The security of data transfer was ensured only by 11 (10.1%) mobile health apps. None of the mobile health apps had an evidence base. The user star rating did not correlate with the MARS overall score or with the individual subdimensions of the MARS (all P>.05). CONCLUSIONS: Mobile health apps might have a positive impact on diagnosis, therapy, and patient guidance in gastroenterology in the future. We conclude that, to date, data security and proof of efficacy are not yet given in currently available mobile health apps.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Diseases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Gastrointestinal Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results
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