Standard Reporting for Health-Apps


PD Dr. Urs-Vito Albrecht, MPH


When publishing clinical research results, it is common practice to follow standardized repor­ting standards to improve the comprehensibility and help rea­ders (and the community) to objectively discuss and decide whether they want to take the risk of applying the results to their daily practice. In our opinion, standard repor­ting mechanisms for mobile medical apps, following an app-synopsis, may foster trans­parency and help users in making informed decisions about an app without im­po­sing undue cost or expenditure of time and resources. In order to have an impact, the answers for the items of the app-synopsis should be published in a prominent posi­tion, e.g. within the product description provided by the respective distribution chan­nels (app stores) as well as on any corresponding web pages or marketing materials of the deve­loper and/or distributor. To enhance transparency and trust in apps, we plead for an initiative for developing a guideline for standard reporting on the functionality, limits, (data) security matters, quality of development and economical interests. If accep­ted by all parties, i.e. developers, distributors as well as users, this may alleviate many of the problems that are unfortunately rampant for currently available medical apps.