Mobile health apps for pregnant women: Systematic search, evaluation, and analysis of features

Gabriela Frid, Kelly Bogaert, Katherine T. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Many pregnant women use the internet to obtain information about pregnancy and childbirth. Over 50% of pregnant women use pregnancy apps and must search through thousands of pregnancy or women's health-related apps available on app stores. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how women receive prenatal care. Mobile health apps may help maintain women's satisfaction with their prenatal care. Objective: Our objective is to identify pregnancy mobile apps and to evaluate the apps using a modified APPLICATIONS (app comprehensiveness, price, privacy, literature used, in-app purchases, connectivity, advertisements, text search field, images/videos, other special features, navigation ease, subjective presentation) scoring system. Methods: A list of pregnancy apps was identified in the first 20 Google search results using the search term "pregnancy app."After excluding irrelevant, inaccurate, malfunctioning, or no longer available apps, all unique apps were downloaded and evaluated with the modified APPLICATIONS scoring system, which includes both objective and subjective criteria and evaluation of special features. Results: A list of 57 unique pregnancy apps was generated. After 28 apps were excluded, the remaining 29 apps were evaluated, with a mean score of 9.4 points out of a maximum of 16. The highest scoring app scored 15 points. Over 60% (18/29) of apps did not have comprehensive information for every stage of pregnancy or did not contain all four desired components of pregnancy apps: health promotion/patient education, communication, health tracking, and notifications and reminders. Only 24% (7/29) of apps included a text search field, and only 28% (8/29) of apps cited literature. Conclusions: Our search yielded many high-scoring apps, but few contained all desired components and features. This list of identified and rated apps can lessen the burden on pregnant women and providers to find available apps on their own. Although health care providers should continue to vet apps before recommending them to patients, these findings also highlight that a Google search is a successful way for patients and providers to find useful and comprehensive pregnancy apps.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25667
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • App
  • App store
  • MHealth
  • Mobile health
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal
  • Women's health


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