Commentary: Happtique standards fall short in certifying efficacy of mHealth apps

In response to Happtique's recent release of final standards for testing and certifying mobile health applications, a March 6 commentary in MedCity News calls the company's mHealth app certification program a "good start" but calls into question whether the standards go far enough. "There is nothing in these standards that speak to whether or not the apps actually do any good," according to Albert Shar, managing principal at Ambler, Penn.-based QERT, who is concerned that mHealth app developers may start using adherence to the Happtique standards as evidence of value. "The Happtique standards speak in large part to safety but it barely touches on efficacy," writes Shar. "Yet, if mHealth is to succeed in helping transform health and healthcare, it needs to show a demonstrated and reliable delivery of value." Nevertheless, Happtique CEO Ben Chodor believes his company's new standards will serve as a "good housekeeping seal of approval," giving medical professionals and consumers confidence that certified mHealth apps live up to their billing. Commentary