The use of mobile apps can support people with kidney disease to better manage their health by helping them to keep track of their medication and indicators such as blood pressure, weight, daily fluid intake and symptoms.
App reviews: kidney disease apps
Chronic kidney disease apps - help me choose
There are a variety of apps aimed at supporting people with kidney disease (chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplant recipient). These apps differ in their features and functionality. A study evaluating consumer-facing apps to support self management in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) found that only a few apps were highly rated by both patients and nephrologists.1 The authors evaluated various measures, including safety (from the nephrologist perspective) and usability (from the patient perspective), such as:
- provide educational information such as diet, fluid restriction, hypertension, etc
- have reminder or alert features
- allow tracking, displaying, and summarizing health information
- provide guidance on the basis of the information entered by the patients
- enable communication of health information with others
- enable users to obtain support from peers through social networks
- provide rewards to motivate and support behavior change.
The study found that for most apps, there were safety concerns (only two of seven apps with tracking functions alerted users on entry of extremely abnormal values). The high-performing apps identified by users included apps focused on:
- the earlier stages of CKD: My Kidneys,My Health Handbook and Kidney Disease Assistant (no longer available for download as of January 2019)
- hemodialysis: Record Weight of Patients on Dialysis
- peritoneal dialysis: C.A.P.D. Helper and Our Journey with Peritoneal Dialysis
- kidney transplant recipients: Syck and Transplant Hero.
Other apps you may find useful
Other apps you may find useful are:
- H2O Overload app: an app for people who need to limit their fluid intake such as people with kidney failure, heart disease or low sodium.
- Medication reminder apps: apps to help you keep track of medications - they can send you a reminder to give medicines, and you can record when you have given the dose.
- Singh K, Diamantidis CJ, Ramani S, et al. Patients' and Nephrologists' Evaluation of Patient-Facing Smartphone Apps for CKD(external link). Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Mar 21.
- Lewis RA, Lunney M, Chong C, et al. Identifying Mobile Applications Aimed at Self-Management in People With Chronic Kidney Disease.(external link) Can J Kidney Health Dis. 2019 Mar 13;6:2054358119834283
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