UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Web-based software applications for frailty assessment in older adults: a scoping review of current status with insights into future development Chang, Riley; Low, Hilary; McDonald, Andrew; Park, Grace; Song, Xiaowei


Background A crucial aspect of continued senior care is the early detection and management of frailty. Developing reliable and secure electronic frailty assessment tools can benefit virtual appointments, a need especially relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. An emerging effort has targeted web-based software applications to improve accessibility and usage. The objectives of this scoping review are to identify and evaluate web-based frailty assessment tools currently available and to identify challenges and opportunities for future development. Methods We conducted a review with literature (e.g., using MEDLINE databases) and Google searches (last updated on October 10, 2021). Each of the identified web applications were assessed based on eight featured categories and assigned a rating score accordingly. Results Twelve web-based frailty assessment applications were found, chiefly provided by the USA (50%) or European countries (41%) and focused on frailty grading and outcome prediction for specific patient groups (59%). Categories that scored well among the applications included the User Interface (2.8/3) and the Cost (2.7/3). Other categories had a mean score of 1.6/3 or lower. The least developed feature was Data Saving. Conclusions Web-based applications represent a viable option for remote frailty assessments and multidisciplinary integrated care of older adults. Despite the available web-based frailty assessments on the Internet, many missed certain needed features for professional use in healthcare settings. This situation calls for fully comprehensive web-based applications, taking into consideration a number of key functions linking graphical user interface and functionalities, and paying special attention to secure data management.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)