The use of mobile devices in oculoplastic and oral and maxillofacial surgery: A systematic review

Haniah A. Zaheer, Abdur Rahman Jabir, Kevin Yang, Sammy Othman, Syed Z. Kaleem, Brian J. McKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The use of smartphones in the United States has more than doubled since 2011. Mobile phone applications have versatile functions in ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery, such as increasing patient engagement in treatment, decreasing no-shows to appointments, and providing patient education. They also provide practical advantages to the clinician, including supplementing an otoscope, laryngoscope, or ophthalmoscope. Their use in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) and oculoplastic surgery has shown effectiveness for a variety of applications, such as for photography and medical reference. Research suggests that smartphones may improve clinical outcomes and efficiency. Objective: The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date systematic review of the available literature investigating mobile phone use in oculoplastic surgery and OMFS. Methods: A query of terms relevant to oculoplastic surgery and OMFS was conducted using the databases PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsychINFO to identify studies meeting inclusion criteria that investigated the implementation, efficacy, and outcomes of mobile device use in oculoplastic surgery and OMFS. A qualitative summary and discussion of the literature was subsequently synthesized. Results: Out of a total of 289 articles reviewed, 171 were removed due to duplication across the four databases. Of the 118 studies remaining, 19 of them were included within the final qualitative review after screening the abstracts and full text for relevance. The articles were published between 2005 and 2020 from 7 different countries. Review of the relevant articles showed three settings in which mobile devices were used: communication between providers, communication between providers and patients, and as surgical supplementation. The literature review included use of mobile device photography for quality improvement, visual representation of procedures for patient education, and improved communication amongst providers and patients in the setting of oculoplastics and OMFS. Conclusion: Mobile device use has become ubiquitous across cultures worldwide. The literature suggests that mobile phone use in oculoplastic surgery and OMFS may improve clinical practice in multiple settings. However, further investigation is necessary to quantify the clinical benefits of mobile device use in oculoplastic and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103282
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • Mobile application
  • Oculoplastic surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Otolaryngology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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