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Research Letter |

Use of a Mobile Application to Characterize a Remote and Global Population of Acne Patients and to Disseminate Peer-Reviewed Acne-Related Health Education

Diana K. Cohen, MD1,2; Beatrice Nardone, MD, PhD1; Martha Cotton, MA3; Dennis P. West, PhD1; Roopal V. Kundu, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
2University of Illinois at Chicago
3Northwestern University Segal Design Institute, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(6):660-662. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9524.
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Acne is estimated to affect 85% of all people at some point in their lives and has been associated with psychosocial morbidity. Education is an integral component to the treatment of acne, and it is recognized that many patients receive educational information about acne from sources other than health care professionals.1 Mobile applications (apps) have seen explosive growth since the introduction of smartphones, with annual download projections for health apps reaching as many as 142 million by 2016.2 The field of mobile health apps, still in its early stages, has been scrutinized for lack of comprehensive regulation and rigorous expert oversight. Despite the challenging start, well-designed apps remain promising tools for collection of data from large populations and for dissemination of health information,3 particularly the predominantly adolescent and young adult acne population that increasingly uses smartphones.4

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