Journal article: Palliative medicine and smartphones

Palliative medicine and smartphones: an opportunity for innovation” by Dr Amara Callistus Nwosu and Stephen Mason was recently published in the BMJ of Supportive and Palliative Care.  The article highlights the opportunity for smartphone technology to support palliative medicine, identifying six separate apps that are currently available on the market across five major smartphone operating systems.

The premise of the article is interesting in itself – a systematic search was required to find relevant apps for this discipline, as no other individual or organisation has signposted appropriate apps for this niche up until now. The results are also indicative of the maturity of the different app stores – all six apps found were available for Apple devices, two of these were also available on the Android OS, but none were available for BlackBerry, Microsoft or Windows smartphones.

The authors compare the relatively limited availability of apps for palliative medicine with orthopaedic surgery, where a recent exercise identified significantly more apps were available, and then go on to discuss the further opportunities and barriers for further smartphone use, across apps and other technologies such as social media.

The six palliative apps identified in the article are

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