Front Public Health. 2022 Apr 27;10:838509. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.838509. eCollection 2022.
We aimed to determine the prevalence of MHAs’ usage and explore the context and determinants of using MHAs among inhabitants in Saudi Arabia (SA). This cross-sectional study randomly selected 679 adult inhabitants from the 20 health regions in SA through an electronic, self-administered, well-structured, and validated Arabic questionnaire. The prevalence of using MHAs was 47.9%, and it was significantly higher among younger, Saudis, highly educated, and working participants, as well as those with chronic diseases (p < 0.05). The main motives for using MHAs were to promote health status (68.6%) and to lose weight (33.2%). The most used apps were related to daily steps-counting (54.2%), and among females was tracking ovulation period apps (43.5%). The most common reported advantage of using MHAs was saving time (64%). Despite the potential benefits of MHAs, they were used by only about half of the study participants in SA. The most effective MHAs in improving health status were exercise, calorie-related, water uptake, and daily steps-counting apps. Policymakers looking to address reform aimed at improving health with mobile apps will find our study interesting.