Online site to test health apps for usability, trustworthiness

An international health app website has been launched to help patients and the public find the most suitable mobile health apps, according to an article posted by PMLiVE. My Health Apps, which aims to help bring health apps into mainstream healthcare, promises to test every app it features for usability and trustworthiness.

The site features apps in 47 languages (from Albanian to Welsh), drawn from 146 health specialties, and includes disease-oriented apps for monitoring, tracking and supporting the management of symptoms. Featured apps are given a "heart" rating, based on the extent to which they meet five consumer/patient needs: give people more control over their condition (or keep them healthy); ease of use; can be used regularly; allow networking with other people like them (or with people who understand them); and are trustworthy.

The launch of the new My Health Apps site comes just weeks after a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that the overwhelming majority of healthcare apps in the iTunes store have limited functionality. According to the report, more than 90 percent of health apps reviewed by the IMS Institute scored less than 40 out of a possible 100 for functionality, based on 25 screening factors. 

Currently, My Health Apps showcases 307 apps, which have been selected by 456 patient groups, disability groups or consumers as their favorites and there are plans to involve several hundred more every six months.

The site was launched by UK-based research firm PatientView in partnership with GSK, Janssen, Novo Nordisk and telecom companies O2/Telefonica Europe and Vodafone Foundation. PatientView also received assistance from NHS England's Library of Health Apps, UK government body KTN CONNECT and the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).

Last month, Partners HealthCare's Center for Connected Health in Boston announced the launch of Wellocracy, a similar online site designed to guide consumers in their use of health apps. Wellocracy is described as a "clinically-based source of impartial, easy-to-understand information on new personal 'self-health' technologies such as health and fitness trackers and mobile apps."

To learn more:
- read the article