Patients' use of mobile health applications: what general practitioners think

Amy D. Nguyen, Lauren J. Frensham, Melissa T. Baysari, Jane E. Carland, Richard O. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Chronic disease patients are adopting self-management techniques, such as using mobile health applications (apps). As GPs are the main caregivers of chronic disease patients, obtaining GP perspectives regarding patient use of mobile health apps is vital in understanding longer term value and feasibility of these apps.

Objective. The aim was to determine GP perceptions of their current and potential roles in the use of health apps by their patients and how patient-focused apps affect patient management.

Methods. Ten GPs participated in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews, which focused on their perceptions of, and involvement in, the use of patient-focused health apps. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed by two independent reviewers.

Results. GPs found that apps complemented their role in patient management as additional sources of medical information of their patients. They perceived that patient-focused apps would be part of their future practices; however they noted that further work was required to incorporate them into their current practices. Currently, the main role of GPs was in promoting apps to patients. Suggestions for further engagement in mobile health included regularly reviewing patient data entered into health apps during consultations.

Conclusion. GPs view patient-focused health apps positively, particularly to support them in providing patient care. Discussing information recorded in apps during consultations and frequent promotion of apps are feasible ways to integrate apps into their current work practices. Further studies involving evaluations of apps in improving health care delivery and patient communication in general practice are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-218
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Delivery of health care
  • general practitioners
  • primary health care
  • General practice
  • patient participation
  • mobile applications
  • general practice


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