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Navigating the new landscape of apps: Overcoming the challenge of poor quality apps in sport and exercise medicine
  1. Osman Hassan Ahmed1,2,
  2. Hopin Lee7,8,9,
  3. Hannah Marchant3,
  4. Rhiannon Jones3,
  5. Eric E Hall4
  1. 1Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, England
  2. 2The FA Centre for Disability Football Research, The Football Association, St Georges Park, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
  3. 3Paediatric Department, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, Dorset, England
  4. 4Department of Exercise Science, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA
  5. 7Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
  6. 8School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  7. 9Pain at NeuRA, Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Osman Hassan Ahmed, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, England BH1 3LT, UK; osman.hassan.ahmed{at}

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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, …

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