Medical apps largely missing medical expertise: study

A recent Ohio State University study, presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) conference in April, analyzed 222 pain-related smartphone apps available for Android, iPhone and Blackberry devices. Their findings:

  • One third had no input from a health care professional
  • Professional input could not be determined for an additional one third
  • 27 percent of the apps had obvious input from an MD or DO
  • 8 percent had input from a non-physician health care professional

The OSU study in 2012 was modeled after a UK study in 2011 that examined 111 pain-related apps, with similar findings. As our readers know, in the US Happtique had taken on the role of a health app certifier through its Health App Certification Program (HACP), and presumably despite their internal changes that certifying process will continue and information will be accessible to the public. The FDA is still debating (and debating) app approval processes (along with the FCC, HHS…) while approving a few [TTA 22 Mar]. AAPM has also expressed interest in ‘gatekeeping’ for pain management apps. American Medical News/  Hat tip to reader George Margelis of Australia

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