A content analysis of ‘water apps’ and prevention of urological diseases: Do apps really help?

Yosef Philip-Mckenzie, Enakshee Jamnadass, B. M.Zeeshan Hameed, Kithmini N. Gamage, Ewa Bres-Niewada, Sadaf Karim Sulaiman, Nitesh Naik, Bhaskar K. Somani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Maintaining hydration reduces incidence of kidney stone disease (KSD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Mobile applications (apps) measuring hydration are gaining in usage, allowing users to monitor intake whilst also taking into account the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Our study looked at the water apps in the management and/or prevention of urological disease. Material and methods The original android app store (Google Play Store), and the Apple App Store (iOS App Store) were searched using the term ‘hydration’, ‘fluid’ and ‘water’. All apps from each distribution platform, with a minimum of 100 reviews, were then selected and analysed. Results After identification of 51 applications (13 from Apple App Store, and 38 from Google Play Store), 45 were free to download and 6 were paid (cost range: $2.19–$7.97). While none of the apps facilitated measurement of urine output and colour, 12 mentioned signs and symptoms of dehydration. Further-more, when calculating required fluid intake, the level of activity was considered by 31 apps. With regards to information provision, only one of the apps included advice or education about urological conditions associated with poor hydration. None of the apps gave advice on hydration related to CKD and UTI. Conclusions Mobile phone apps are a well-established tool for measuring fluid intake. However, they provide little information regarding the importance of hydration, and don’t utilise other measures such as level of activity, urine output or colour. Considering the increasing popularity of fitness and hydration apps in our daily lives, the developers need to make them more comprehensive and informative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalCentral European Journal of Urology
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology

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