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Telemed J E Health. 2017 Mar;23(3):219-225. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2016.0083. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Current Status of Cardiovascular Disease-Related Smartphone Apps Downloadable in China.

Author information

1 School of Nursing, Capital Medical University , Beijing, China .
2 College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University , Melbourne, Australia .



Smartphone apps present a great opportunity for the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the adoption of apps becomes increasingly popular in China. Yet, little is known about the status of CVD-related Smartphone apps in the country. The aim of this study was to examine the current status of CVD-related smartphone apps available for download in China.


Using CVD-related keywords written either in Chinese or English, the top 6 most popular smartphone app online stores in China were searched in September 2015. The information accountability of the selected apps was assessed with the Silberg scale. The key topic areas identified from the European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention served to determine information coverage of the top 5 downloaded apps.


The average Silberg score of 151 apps was 2.87 (out of 9) with most apps not revealing authors' qualifications and information references. There was also a lack of sponsorship disclosure and information update. Moreover, none of the top 5 downloaded apps covered all key areas of CVD management as recommended by the European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention. There was little evidence of health professionals' involvement in the formation of the CVD-related apps.


This study identified areas for improvement concerning information accountability and the scope of coverage of CVD-related apps downloadable in China. The findings may guide the future advancement of CVD-related apps and benefit CVD management in China.


China; Silberg scale; Smartphone apps; accountability; cardiovascular disease; content coverage; information quality

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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