1397P - Use of mobile applications in oncology: is it possible for patients and healthcare professionals to easily identify relevant tools?

Date 28 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session Poster Display session
Topics Patient Education
Presenter Benoit Brouard
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv486-iv493. 10.1093/annonc/mdu353
Authors B. Brouard1, P. Bardo1, C. Bonnet2, M. Vignot3, C. Even4, G. Tossen1, J. Mazeron2, J. Soria5, S. Vignot1
  • 1Oncologie Et Hématologie, Hôpitaux de Chartres, 28000 - Chartres/FR
  • 2Gh Pitié Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, 75013 - Paris/FR
  • 3Gh Pitié Salpêtrière, ICAN, 75013 - Paris/FR
  • 4Head And Neck Department, Gustave Roussy, 94805 - Villejuif/FR
  • 5Ditep, Gustave Roussy, 94805 - Villejuif/FR



A large number of mobile applications (apps) for smartphones, tablets and other mobiles devices are related to health issues. Some of them are specifically dedicated to cancer (diagnosis, treatment, follow-up). It could be difficult for users to identify relevant apps and to estimate if contents could be use in clinical practice. In this study, we propose to describe the profile of apps in Oncology according to their target audience: general population, cancer patients (pts) or healthcare professionals.


The study was performed on iTunes and Google Play and restricted to apps in English. Apps were identified using keywords "cancer", "oncology" and "chemotherapy" . The aim was to evaluate the purpose and the scientific validation for each app as described on stores according to its target audience. The funding was also considered.


539 apps were identified. The target audience was: general population 31%, pts 22 % and professionals 47%. For general population apps, main topics were information 32% and cancer prevention 25%. More than 92% of apps were free in this category and only 2% were declared as funded by pharmaceutical companies. A scientific validation was mentioned on stores in 18% of apps. For pts apps, main topics were information 51% and help for treatment monitoring 29%. 95 % were free and 4 % were sponsored. Scientific validation was mentioned in 27% of apps. For professional apps; main topics were information 52% and tools for prescription help 19%. 85 % were free and industry support was declared in 8% of apps. Scientific validation was mentioned in 52 %.


Most applications propose general information about cancer and some of them are especially dedicated to treatment follow up. If users try to identify relevant apps according to their presentation on stores, the purpose appears to be clearly presented but it is difficult to define if contents have been verified. Users should be aware that no scientific validation process is required before publication on stores and professionals should remain cautious about apps' contents, especially when they are dedicated to general population or patients. As many apps are free and not declared on stores as supported by industry, economic models of the apps could also be questioned and source of funding should be clarified.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.