Evaluation Tools to Appraise Social Media and Mobile Applications
- 59% how I seek information for health issues
- 51% how providers provide health information
- 49% how I manage my health care
- 48% how I manage my chronic conditions
- 48% how I communicate with my provider
- 48% how I manage my medications
- 47% how I measure and share vital health information
- 46% how providers will monitor my condition and compliance
4. Evaluation Tools
4.1. Online Health Information Evaluation Tools
- The National Library of Medicine has an excellent resource to get started. There are several links that connect to various sites to find and evaluate online health information. (https://medlineplus.gov/evaluatinghealthinformation.html).
- Medical Library Association. For Health Consumers and Patients: Find Good Health Information. (http://www.mlanet.org/resources/userguide.html).
- NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Finding and Evaluating Online Resources. (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/webresources).
- Medline Plus: Evaluating Internet Health Information: A Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine. (https://medlineplus.gov/webeval/webeval.html).
4.2. Social Media Evaluation Tools
- Ease of use: Images, icons and other visual elements that can be used to facilitate learning. Navigation and next steps should be intuitive.
- Checks on quality of content: Links to an outside organization should be on the home page. Specific information about numbers or credentials of moderators should be readily available.
- Transparency of ads: There should be a clear distinction between advertising and editorial content.
- Member control of information sharing: Users should be able to restrict access or sharing of information to community members.
4.3. Mobile Health App Evaluation
- Ask your health care institution if they have a list of approved mobile apps and networks for patients to join.
- Search app clearinghouse web sites. The following list is provided in their article: National Health Service (NHS) Health Tools, including smartphone apps (http://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/toolslibrary.aspx?); Happtique (mHealth app store); iMedicalApps (online medical publication); HealthTap’s AppRX (targeted to consumers) Veterans Administration App Store: (https://mobile.va.gov/appstore).
- Review the scientific literature: search the scientific literature for papers reviewing apps in a content domain or strong clinical trials. One potential open access journal that may be helpful is the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).
- Go to professional organizations or foundations to see if they have any m-apps.
- Search app stores: this may be very challenging, given that there are many apps and that they are broadly classified.
- Talk with a health care professional via social media to discover any reputable apps.
5. Future Directions
Conflicts of Interest
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Skiba, D. Evaluation Tools to Appraise Social Media and Mobile Applications. Informatics 2017, 4, 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4030032
Skiba D. Evaluation Tools to Appraise Social Media and Mobile Applications. Informatics. 2017; 4(3):32. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4030032Chicago/Turabian Style
Skiba, Diane. 2017. "Evaluation Tools to Appraise Social Media and Mobile Applications" Informatics 4, no. 3: 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4030032