HumanInsight Modification and Validation of an mHealth App Quality Assessment Methodology for International Use: Cross-sectional and eDelphi Studies
JMIR Form Res. 2022 Aug 19;6(8):e36912. doi: 10.2196/36912.
BACKGROUND: Over 325,000 mobile health (mHealth) apps are available to download across various app stores. However, quality assurance in this field of medicine remains relatively undefined. Globally, around 84% of the population have access to mobile broadband networks. Given the potential for mHealth app use in health promotion and disease prevention, their role in patient care worldwide is ever apparent. Quality assurance regulations both nationally and internationally will take time to develop. Frameworks such as the Mobile App Rating Scale and Enlight Suite have demonstrated potential for use in the interim. However, these frameworks require adaptation to be suitable for international use.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to modify the Enlight Suite, a comprehensive app quality assessment methodology, to improve its applicability internationally and to assess the preliminary validity and reliability of this modified tool in practice.
METHODS: A two-round Delphi study involving 7 international mHealth experts with varied backgrounds in health, technology, and clinical psychology was conducted to modify the Enlight Suite for international use and to improve its content validity. The Modified Enlight Suite (MES) was then used by 800 health care professionals and health care students in Ireland to assess a COVID-19 tracker app in an online survey. The reliability of the MES was assessed using Cronbach alpha, while the construct validity was evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis.
RESULTS: The final version of the MES has 7 sections with 32 evaluating items. Of these items, 5 were novel and based on consensus for inclusion by Delphi panel members. The MES has satisfactory reliability with a Cronbach alpha score of .925. The subscales also demonstrated acceptable internal consistency. Similarly, the confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated a positive and significant factor loading for all 32 items in the MES with a modestly acceptable model fit, thus indicating the construct validity of the MES.
CONCLUSIONS: The Enlight Suite was modified to improve its international relevance to app quality assessment by introducing new items relating to cultural appropriateness, accessibility, and readability of mHealth app content. This study indicates both the reliability and validity of the MES for assessing the quality of mHealth apps in a high-income country, with further studies being planned to extrapolate these findings to low- and middle-income countries.
PMID:35984688 | DOI:10.2196/36912
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