MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patient ratings of chronic kidney disease (CKD) apps are not directly linked with nephrologist ratings or consumer ratings, according to a study published online March 21 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Karandeep Singh, M.D., from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues identified apps targeting CKD patients and evaluated the apps on their types of patient engagement, quality, usability, and safety. Patients assessed engagement, quality, and usability, and nephrologists assessed engagement, quality, and safety. The evaluations were performed by two patients and three nephrologists.

A total of 174 unique apps were identified on Android and 165 unique apps were identified on iOS. After exclusion of apps not related to kidney disease, not patient-facing, or last updated before 2014, a total of 12 Android-only apps, 11 iOS-only apps, and five dual-platform apps remained. The researchers observed no correlation between patient and nephrologist app quality ratings as assessed by the net promoter score. There was no correlation seen for consumer ratings on the app stores with patient ratings of app quality.

“If nephrology organizations are considering endorsing or recommending apps for patients to use, they should seek patient input in the process because there is no good substitute for patient opinion,” Singh said in a statement.

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