Smartphone Applications and its Role in Foot and Ankle Surgery
Introduction The coronavirus disease 19 COVID 19 pandemic has exposed inherent weaknesses in global healthcare systems. Conversely, it has encouraged innovation, research and collaboration. Digital technology has the ability to tackle these difficulties via the use of applications. However, the reliability and validity of unregulated medical applications must be questioned. The aim of this study was to review surgical foot and ankle themed applications and specifically assess the level of involvement from medical professionals in the design and content. Methods The App Store iOS , Google Play Android and the BlackBerry App World Blackberry were searched for foot and ankle themed applications. The following search terms were used bunions, ankle sprains, diabetic foot, foot and ankle deformities, pre op templating, Patho anatomy, post operative rehab, gait, measurement of clinical angles of foot and ankle. Data were collected on target audience, patients, healthcare workers, number of applications, applications with customer satisfaction reviews, applications with medical professional involvement and applications available within the UK application stores. Results 35 individual foot and ankle themed applications were identified. 30 applications had customer satisfaction ratings, 11 applications were predominantly health worker centric and 3 were patient centered. 23 applications had medical professional involvement in their development or content. Conclusion The benefits of applications are offset by the lack of Foot and ankle specification. There is relatively little medical professional involvement in their design. Increased regulation is required to improve accountability of application content.
Foot and ankle, Smartphone applications, The Apps store, Google play, BlackBerry
Dr. Prashanth Nagaraj | Mr Davinder Singh Paul Baghla | Miss Samantha Z Tross