Clinician-Targeted Mobile Apps in Palliative Care: A Systematic Review

In Journal of Palliative Medicine, Salimah Meghani and colleagues identify and review available palliative care-related smartphone applications for clinicians. The authors assess growth in development of these apps, and review them for purpose, target audience, and number of downloads. They found that the number of palliative care apps targeting clinicians has increased eight-fold over the past five years. Of the 46 applications identified, nine were designed to assist clinicians with goals of advance care planning, seven provide training materials for palliative care, 17 present clinical guidelines, six were platforms for distributing current palliative care news, articles, and opinions, and seven were pharmaceutical tools. However, of the smartphone application platform stores, only Google Play reported the number of downloads, making it difficult to judge how often some apps were downloaded. Additionally, many apps did not report adequate information to judge the evidence upon which the apps were based. As such, the authors recommend discussion within the palliative care community about developing a rating system for the quality of palliative care applications.