DOI: 10.1097/cej.0000000000000845 ISSN: 0959-8278

A mobile health application for prostate cancer antigen dosage: is it time to say goodbye to classic screening methods?

Francesco Di Bello, Ernesto di Mauro, Giovanni Maria Fusco, Alfonso Falcone, Gabriele Pezone, Claudia Collà Ruvolo, Gianluigi Califano, Agostino Fraia, Francesco Passaro, Francesco Pepillo, Alessandro Ranieri, Pierluigi Alvino, Francesco Mastrangelo, Carmine Turco, Luigi Cirillo, Corrado Aniello Franzese, Roberto La Rocca, Massimiliano Creta, Nicola Longo, Luigi Napolitano
  • Cancer Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


To evaluate the quality of apps for prostate cancer antigen (PSA) dosage, available for downloading on the iOS and Android platforms, discussing the potential role of mobile health applications (MHAs) in update the screening protocol.


An observational cross-sectional descriptive study of all smartphone apps for PSA dosage was performed through the most used platforms (iOS and Android). On 10 February 2023, a total of 457 apps were found according to the search criteria. Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) was adopted to assess apps’ quality. Then, MARS items were analyzed through descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations between study variables with Pearson’s coefficient.


Of all samples, 24 MHAs were included in the final analysis: 12% (n = 3) from the iTunes App Store and 88% (n = 21) from the Google Play Store. According to the MARS quality assessment, the mean values 2.61, 2.94, 3.11, 2.97, 2.94, and 2.63 were measured for the engagement, functionality, aesthetics, information, overall mean score, and subjective quality, respectively.


The MHAs for PSA were under the acceptability threshold and future improvements are required. Moreover, MHAs appropriately developed could play an active role in PSA screening campaign and adherence of follow-up regimens. Finally, the virtual instrument could both reduce the social divide of access to care for patients in rural areas and improve PCA detection, speeding up the active treatment.

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