Can mobile health apps replace GPs? A scoping review of comparisons between mobile apps and GP tasks

Wattanapisit, Apichai and Teo, Chin Hai and Wattanapisit, Sanhapan and Teoh, Emylia and Woo, Wing Jun and Ng, Chirk Jenn (2020) Can mobile health apps replace GPs? A scoping review of comparisons between mobile apps and GP tasks. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20 (1). p. 5. ISSN 1472-6947, DOI

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Background: Mobile health applications (mHealth apps) are increasingly being used to perform tasks that are conventionally performed by general practitioners (GPs), such as those involved in promoting health, preventing disease, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and support for health services. This raises an important question: can mobile apps replace GPs? This study aimed to systematically search for and identify mobile apps that can perform GP tasks. Methods: A scoping review was carried out. The Google Play Store and Apple App Store were searched for mobile apps, using search terms derived from the UK Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guideline on GPs' core capabilities and competencies. A manual search was also performed to identify additional apps. Results: The final analysis included 17 apps from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and 21 apps identified by the manual search. mHealth apps were found to have the potential to replace GPs for tasks such as recording medical history and making diagnoses; performing some physical examinations; supporting clinical decision making and management; assisting in urgent, long-term, and disease-specific care; and health promotion. In contrast, mHealth apps were unable to perform medical procedures, appropriately utilise other professionals, and coordinate a team-based approach. Conclusions: This scoping review highlights the functions of mHealth apps that can potentially replace GP tasks. Future research should focus on assessing the performance and quality of mHealth apps in comparison with that of real doctors. © 2020 The Author(s).

Item Type: Article
Funders: Walailak University under the new strategic research (P2P) project (grant number: CGS-2019-047)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clinical tasks; General practitioners; Mobile health applications
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 00:50
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2020 00:50

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