Can mobile health apps replace GPs? A scoping review of comparisons between mobile apps and GP tasks

Published on 2020-01-07T04:38:46Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Mobile health applications (mHealth apps) are increasingly being used to perform tasks that are conventionally performed by general practitioners (GPs), such as those involved in promoting health, preventing disease, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and support for health services. This raises an important question: can mobile apps replace GPs? This study aimed to systematically search for and identify mobile apps that can perform GP tasks. Methods A scoping review was carried out. The Google Play Store and Apple App Store were searched for mobile apps, using search terms derived from the UK Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guideline on GPs’ core capabilities and competencies. A manual search was also performed to identify additional apps. Results The final analysis included 17 apps from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and 21 apps identified by the manual search. mHealth apps were found to have the potential to replace GPs for tasks such as recording medical history and making diagnoses; performing some physical examinations; supporting clinical decision making and management; assisting in urgent, long-term, and disease-specific care; and health promotion. In contrast, mHealth apps were unable to perform medical procedures, appropriately utilise other professionals, and coordinate a team-based approach. Conclusions This scoping review highlights the functions of mHealth apps that can potentially replace GP tasks. Future research should focus on assessing the performance and quality of mHealth apps in comparison with that of real doctors.

Cite this collection

Wattanapisit, Apichai; Teo, Chin; Wattanapisit, Sanhapan; Teoh, Emylia; Woo, Wing; Ng, Chirk (2020): Can mobile health apps replace GPs? A scoping review of comparisons between mobile apps and GP tasks. figshare. Collection.