Background. Smartphone compared to the traditional pen-paper method could enhance oral health data recording procedure by reducing the cost of data collection, risk of data loss, early detection of errors and reducing data entry time. The present research developed a mobile/tablet-based software application to capture oral health data and test its adaptability and operations in oral health surveys.

Methods. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among the general population of Sanwer town, Indore district. The initial testing of the application was done on 120 individuals. A random sampling (lottery method) followed by a systematic sampling strategy was employed to select 120 households. A “one per household” design was implemented for the survey. The initial oral health data collection was done using mobile-assisted software application followed by a second examination scheduled after 15 days on the same participants using the conventional Pen-paper method to collect oral health data. 

Results. Six Investigator Recorder (IR) teams conducted the oral health data collection. Data collection through Smartphone-based application displayed less meantime (3.57 minutes) in comparison to pen-paper method (4.87 minutes) (p≤0.001). Survey team response showed the majority of investigators having strong agreement on user satisfaction and speed of data entry using software application.

Conclusion. The initial testing of mobile-assisted recording system (MARS) efficiently captured oral health data among the general population with wide variations in oral disease level. The application facilitated minimal or no wastage of paper and had a high level of user-satisfaction, accuracy, speed of entry and low potential for any data loss.


oral health, software validation, electronic data collection, technology assessment, survey research, mobile health