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Authors

  1. Meddar, John M. MS
  2. Ponnapalli, Aditya MS
  3. Azhar, Rimsha MS
  4. Turchioe, Meghan Reading PhD, MPH, RN
  5. Duran, Andrea Tiana PhD, MPhil, MS
  6. Creber, Ruth Masterson PhD, MSc, RN

Abstract

Purpose: This study systematically evaluated the quality and functionalities of patient-facing, commercially available mobile health (mHealth) apps for cardiac rehabilitation (CR).

 

Methods: We performed our search in two of the most widely used commercial mobile app stores: Apple iTunes Appstore and Google Play Store (Android apps). Six search terms were used to query relevant CR apps: "cardiac rehabilitation," "heart disease and remote therapy," "heart failure exercise," "heart therapy and cardiac recovery," "cardiac recovery," and "heart therapy." App quality was evaluated using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS). App functionality was evaluated using the IQVIA functionality scale, and app content was evaluated against the American Heart Association guidelines for CR. Apps meeting our inclusion criteria were downloaded and evaluated by two to three reviewers, and interclass correlations between reviewers were calculated.

 

Results: We reviewed 3121 apps and nine apps met our inclusion criteria. On average, the apps scored a 3.0 on the MARS (5-point Likert scale) for overall quality. The two top-ranking mHealth apps for CR for all three quality, functionality, and consistency with evidence-based guidelines were My Cardiac Coach and Love My Heart for Women, both of which scored >=4.0 for behavior change.

 

Conclusion: Overall, the quality and functionality of free apps for mobile CR was high, with two apps performing the best across all three quality categories. High-quality CR apps are available that can expand access to CR for patients with cardiovascular disease.