About this Research Topic
For decades, epidemiological research and risk assessment on Stroke have been dependent on one-on-one appointments and hospital registries. More complex studies such as cohorts are scarce, difficult to perform and costly. Nowadays, smartphones offer a great opportunity to deliver information for patients, to provide prompt treatment and to make data acquisition a more effective and affordable process. Yet the participation of smartphones in the Stroke prevention and chain of survival has not been comprehensively assessed. Recently, there is a flourishment of smartphone stroke related apps that aim to fill this gap. Up to this day, stroke related apps comprise a wide range of potential interventions in Stroke prevention and chain of survival, for instance: Determination of stroke risk, providing information to the general population about their risk factors and preventive measures, quickly recognize the signs of a stroke, real time monitoring of stroke symptoms in the emergency services, direct routing of patients and ambulances to the nearest stroke treatment facility, rapid and accurate examination of neuro images of patients with stroke, visual aids for the communication of patients with stroke related speech disorders and, personalized stroke rehabilitation programs.
The goals of this Research Topic include:
1) to catalogue and present all stroke related apps available, 2) to provide an in-depth understanding of their role in stroke prevention and chain of survival, 3) to describe and catalogue differences in access and patterns of use of stroke related apps among different countries and cultures, 4) to analyze the implications of such differences, 5) to offer insight into the ethical implications of acquiring personal data from patients phones and, 6) to outline criteria for the validation and peer review of an app, to avoid fraud or harm in patients.
Given the huge number of apps available more research on effective app characteristics is needed to provide users with data based on evidence from research designs with good levels of evidence. Understanding the role of smartphone apps in Stroke will serve as a general guidance for the physicians in charge of the care of such patients, which holds the potential of produce better healthcare and patient outcomes.
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