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Dermatology Online Journal

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Growth of mobile applications in dermatology - 2017 update

  • Author(s): Flaten, Hania K
  • St Claire, Chelsea
  • Schlager, Emma
  • Dunnick, Cory A
  • Dellavalle, Robert P
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Background: More than 80% of households in the US have a smartphone. Growth of mobile applications (apps) has grown in parallel with access to smartphones. Mobile health apps are used in medical fields, including dermatology. These apps allow patients to access information regarding dermatology conditions as well as access physicians via teledermatology.

Purpose: To analyze changes in number of dermatology mobile apps since 2014 and discuss benefits and drawbacks of mobile application growth to dermatology.

Methods: Apple, Android, and Windows were queried for dermatology-related apps. The apps were categorized by purpose and compared to previously published data to assess growth and change in dermatology apps.

Results: A total of 526 dermatology mobile apps were found corresponding to an 80.8% growth in dermatology apps since 2014. The market share of teledermatology increased from 11.0% in 2014 to 20.1% in 2017.

Conclusions: Dermatology apps continue to grow at a comparable pace to general app growth. Teledermatology apps experienced significant growth from 2014 to 2017. This growth has allowed time-efficient and cost-effective access to dermatologists, especially in rural areas. The growth of dermatology apps targeting patients allows for patient autonomy but also can result in access to inaccurate information regarding dermatology conditions.

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