Characteristics and quality of genetics and genomics mobile apps: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Mobile applications (apps) have been increasingly utilized to access the latest and abundant information related to genetics/genomics for resources, risk assessments, and individualized recommendations. Nevertheless, the number and quality of the current apps in genetics/genomics remain unknown. Thus, in this review, we aimed to identify existing genetic/genomic apps, summarize their characteristics, and examine their quality. A systematic search of genetics/genomics apps was conducted on Apple Store and Google Play. We adapted a validated evaluation scale, Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS), to examine the quality of genetics/genomics apps. Eighty-eight genetics/genomics apps, with the cost ranging from free to $49.99, formed the final sample. Findings showed that the majority of the apps had reference/resource as a feature (95.5%), had health professional students as the target audience (86.4%), and did not focus on specific diseases (78.5%). Only 21.6% of the apps were developed by reliable or authoritative agencies, and the apps' overall quality was slightly above average based on the criteria of the MARS. Therefore, while genetics/genomics mobile apps might be useful resources, their quality still needs improvement, especially with respect to the credibility and evidence-based items of app information as well as the customization items of app engagement; caution must be taken when using those apps.

altmetric score

  • 21.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Talwar, D., Yeh, Y., Chen, W., & Chen, L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Talwar, Divya||Yeh, Yu-Lyu||Chen, Wei-Ju||Chen, Lei-Shih

publication date

  • June 2019