Original Article

Analysis of oral health-related smartphone applications

Jae-Yeon Jung   Soo-Hwa Kim*   

1Department of Dental Hygiene, Hanyang Women's University

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the current status of oral health applications developed for smartphones because they can be used as a new educational medium to manage and improve oral health. Methods: This study examined 60 basic oral health applications provided by Google Play Store and Apple App Store as of May 2019 and examined delivery contents, delivery methods, application types, and other information. Results: Apple included 65.4% of oral apps in the game category whereas Android included 64.3% in the education category (p>0.05). All Apple's apps and 71.4% of Android apps were developed overseas (p<0.01). The delivery contents were 61.5% for Brushing + tooth decay in Apple, and 78.6% for others (oral care products and gum diseases) in Android (p>0.05). For the delivery method, game + video was 65.4% in Apple, and game and other methods (text, image, augmented reality) was 42.9% in Android (p>0.05). In the case of application type, play type was the most common with 88.5% in Apple, and 46.4% play type and 39.3% other type (text, appreciation, problem-solving types) in Android (p<0.01). In addition, play type was high in both education (53.8%) and game (90.0%) categories (p>0.05). The average review score was 4.30 in the education category, 4.34 in the case of brushing and care (delivery contents), 4.37 in the case of using game + video (delivery methods), and 4.57 in the case of Play + other types (application type) (p>0.05). Conclusions: The use of healthcare apps is expected to increase owing to improved lifestyles, an increase in the elderly population, cost-effectiveness, and convenience that is not affected by time and place. Effective use of oral health apps will require the participation of dental professionals in the development process to identify the exact status, expand subjects, and provide appropriate information.

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