Smartphone apps as a source of cancer information: Changing trends in health information-seeking behavior

Ambarish Pandey, Sayeedul Hasan, Divyanshu Dubey, Sasmit Sarangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


There is an increased interest in smartphone applications as a tool for delivery of health-care information. There have been no studies which evaluated the availability and content of cancer-related smartphone applications. This study aims to identify and analyze cancer-related applications available on the Apple iTunes platform. The Apple iTunes store was searched for cancer-related smartphone applications on July 29, 2011. The content of the applications was analyzed for cost, type of information, validity, and involvement of health-care agencies. A total of 77 relevant applications were identified. There were 24.6% apps uploaded by health-care agencies, and 36% of the apps were aimed at health-care workers. Among the apps, 55.8% provided scientifically validated data. The difference in scientific validity between the apps aimed at general population versus health-care professionals was statistically significant (P < 0.01). Seventy-nine percent of the apps uploaded by health-care agencies were found to be backed by scientific data. There is lack of cancer-related applications with scientifically backed data. There is a need to improve the accountability and reliability of cancer-related smartphone applications and encourage participation by health-care agencies to ensure patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Disease information
  • Patient education
  • Smartphone application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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