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When Christopher Columbus first set foot on the Americas in 1492, he stared on the landscape with wonder and trepidation. Over 400 years later, sport and exercise medicine (SEM) clinicians may feel similar emotions as they scan the landscape of smartphone apps in healthcare for patient engagement.1 ,2 Mobile apps pose challenges for patients and clinicians due to the emergent and (partially) unregulated nature of apps in healthcare. Healthcare apps represent a transient form of healthcare and are often short-lived in popularity, as the example of Pokemon Go demonstrates.3
Not all apps are well-designed, user-friendly, and importantly, many lack evidence-based content. SEM clinicians may be reluctant to recommend such apps, especially if the clinicians themselves find the apps awkward and cumbersome to use. In addition, SEM clinicians may not be familiar with the apps available for a particular condition, and thus will not be able to recommend relevant apps to patients under their care. For patients, having apps with dubious management information may delay rehabilitation, …
Contributors All authors contributed in conception and creation of the initial draft and subsequent revisions and final version of this paper.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.