Happtique announced on February 27th that the final draft of the app certification standards are completed. They can be viewed here. The standards fall into four categories that mHealth apps will be evaluated and certified against. These cateogires are operability, privacy, security and content. While the company isn’t yet accepting apps to be certified, app creators can expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000 to have their app reviewed.
Fierce Mobile Healthcare reported that Ben Chodor, CEO of Happtique, told them that the mHealth market is a “Wiild West” environment. This is because “no one knows where they come from and the apps haven’t been properly reviewed.” And with there being more than 40,000 mHealth apps available right now, there’s definitely bound to be some bad ones. These apps could range from just having inaccurate information, to making outrageous claims.
In the same article, Fierce Mobile Healthcare talked about how a recent probe from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting showed how there are a lot of deceptive mHealth apps out there. As they put it, “consumers are being ‘bamboozled by hucksters.'” The survey found that, of the 1,500 apps involved, more than 20 percent were not legitimate, and could possibly endanger people. Kind of scary. One would hope someone would be able to discern if something is real or not, but I imagine there’s some pretty savvy people out there who can make something look more real than it actual is.
I’m excited that it looks like Happtique is just about ready to start reviewing apps and certifying them. I think that it will really help add legitimacy to mHealth, and hopefully get more people to trust it — consumers and physicians alike.