Finding a good health smartphone app can be a challenge. Scroll through the slides for more on the APA Smartphone App Evaluation Model.
-There are now over 250,000 health apps. -Existing health apps are constantly changing. -The FDA is taking a ‘hands off’ approach to most health apps. -Static health app ratings like ‘88/100’ or “B+” don’t take into account what is unique about your case at hand or the fact that apps are always changing.
-Apps may not protect patients’ personal health information. -App may offer incorrect and even dangerous advice. -Apps may be ineffective and waste patients’ time and effort. -Apps may not be able to respond to emergencies. -Most apps are untested.
For more details and help with app evaluation, visit the American Psychiatric Association website at: https://psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/mental-health-apps. “The app evaluation model is the result of work by the APA’s smartphone app evaluation workgroup and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society’s Health Information Technology Committee.”
-What is the business model / If free, how does it support itself? -Who is the developer? -Does it claim to be medical? -Cost / In-App Purchases / Free? -Is there advertising? -What platforms (eg, iPhone, Android) does it work on? -When was it last updated?
-What does the app claim to do vs actually do? -Is there peer-reviewed, published evidence about tool or science behind it? -Is there any feedback from users to support claims (App store, website, review sites, etc)? -Does the content appear of at least reasonable value?
-Is it easy to access for the patient at hand? -Would it be easy to use on a long-term basis? -Is it customizable? -Does it need Internet to work? -What platforms does it work on? -Is it accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities?
Can it share data with an electronic medical record (EMR)? Can you print out your data? Can you export/download your data? Is there a dashboard to view your data? Can it share data with other user data tools (eg, Apple HealthKit, FitBit)?