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Obes Surg. 2014 Jan;24(1):32-6. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-1010-3.

Obesity surgery smartphone apps: a review.

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  • 1North Bristol NHS Trust, Department of General Surgery, Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS10 5NB, UK,



The purpose of this study are to review available smartphone applications ('apps') relating to weight loss surgery, and assess the level of medical professional involvement in their design


Smartphone apps relating to weight loss surgery were identified by searching the three app stores: Apple's App Store, Google Play (Android) and Blackberry AppWorld. A data search was undertaken using keywords and phrases relating to weight loss surgery. Apps designed for the non-surgical treatment of obesity were excluded.


A total of 38 apps were identified (Google Play = 17, Apple App Store = 21, Blackberry World = 0). Ten of 38 apps were duplicated therefore 28 apps were reviewed. Mean app rating was 3.6/5 and mean app cost was £1.89. Twenty-six of 28 (92.9%) apps were designed for use by patients. Apps were categorised into the following categories: patient information (ten), patient support forums (six), patient record tools (six), weight loss clinic advertisements (four), a journal app (one) and a conference tool (one). Health professional involvement was evident in 12 of 28 (42.9%) apps.


This study has identified that the majority of available apps relating to weight loss surgery do not have health professional input. The establishment of a 'quality stamp' provided by an established bariatric surgical body could improve the confidence with which patients and clinicians use these new information sources. Weight loss surgery apps offer a unique opportunity to provide accurate and reliable patient information and their use as part of the informed consent process should be explored.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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