June 29, 2018 – Medical Apps


Anchor lead: Can you trust star ratings for medical apps? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Are you looking for an app to help you assess things like activity or blood pressure? Five stars isn’t a good way to choose a medical app, research by Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins and colleagues has shown.

Martin: If someone’s having a good user experience, likes the app, feels good when they use it, those naturally would lead to high stars. What’s different about medical apps is we need to really know that these are providing accurate information if medical decisions are going to made on this basis. This can have health consequences and so we need to have higher standards and I think what our paper shows is that the number of stars that an app has in the health space is not enough to know whether this is something you should be using for your health.   :31

Martin says app development is continuously underway, and some good ones are available. He says asking your physician about apps may be helpful but beware of so-called medical professional reviews online.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.