Background: Use of mobile technology in clinical practice is increasingly prevalent among health care providers. Eighty-six percent of health care providers routinely use smartphones in clinical practice and 53% use tablets. To address this growing trend and to increase clinicians’ access to CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines, CDC’s Division of STD Prevention developed a practical, user-friendly application available for mobile phones and tablets.
Methods: The STD Treatment Guidelines app (STD Tx Guide) was evaluated to assess user uptake, usage, and feedback. Data from app stores and analytics from code embedded in the app were used to measure the usability and quality of the app. An evaluation of promotion metrics was conducted to assess reach and engagement. Metrics from social media messaging (Facebook, Twitter), email campaigns, and web based promotions (banners, buttons, QR codes) were analyzed to identify which channels and messages were most successful at influencing user uptake.
Results: Within two months of the of STD Tx Guide release, the app had been downloaded over 12,500 times worldwide, making it the third most downloaded CDC mobile app. Qualitative and quantitative user feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average user rating of 4.7/5.0. Email and social media have proved to be the most effective communication strategies for disseminating promotional messages about the app. These findings will inform future app updates.
Conclusions: Evaluation of mobile apps is still an emerging science and best practices have not yet been established for public health. This presentation will offer one approach to developing and implementing an informative and relevant evaluation of a mobile application. Lessons learned will help inform the development, promotion, and evaluation of future public health mobile applications.