Mobile Health Applications to Support COVID-19 Self-management: Review and Evaluation

Document Type : review


1 Department of Health Information Technology, Faculty of Para Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences

2 Management and Health Information Technology Department, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Allied Medical Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)


Aim: During the epidemic and with an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) disease prevalence, emergency care is essential to help people stay informed and undertake self-management measures to protect their health. One of these self-management procedures is the use of mobile apps in health. Mobile health (mHealth) applications include mobile devices in collecting clinical health data, sharing healthcare information for practitioners and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, and the direct provision of care (via mobile telemedicine). Mobile apps are increasing to improve health, but before healthcare providers can recommend these applications to patients, they need to be sure the apps will help change patients' lifestyles.
Method: A search was conducted systematically using the keywords "Covid-19," "Coronavirus," "Covid-19, and Self-management" at the "Apple App Store". Then we evaluated the apps according to MARS criteria in May 2020.
Results: A total of 145 apps for COVID-19 self-management were identified, but only 32 apps met our inclusion criteria after being assessed. The overall mean MARS score was 2.9 out of 5, and more than half of the apps had a minimum acceptability score (range 2.5-3.9). The "who academy" app received the highest functionality score. Who Academy, Corona-Care and First Responder COVID-19 Guide had the highest scores for behavior change.
Conclusion: Our findings showed that few apps meet the quality, content, and functionality criteria for Covid-19 self-management. Therefore, developers should use evidence-based medical guidelines in creating mobile health applications so that, they can provide comprehensive and complete information to both patients and healthcare provider.


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Volume 2, Issue 2 - Serial Number 3
December 2021
Pages 44-56
  • Receive Date: 19 July 2021
  • Revise Date: 05 August 2021
  • Accept Date: 28 November 2021
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2021