New York-based mobile healthcare provider Happtique announced that it has certified 19 (although only 18 were listed) health and medical apps submitted by developers through its Health App Certification Program (HACP), in what the company calls a “first-of-its-kind program to test app privacy, security, and content.”
This has been long awaited. A recent report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics analyzed more than 43,000 healthcare apps available on iTunes and found that the vast majority have limited use and simple functionality, with most apps doing little more than providing information. The report also revealed a lack of evidence of the clinical benefits of the apps, without which app use will not be able to move from “a novelty into the mainstream of healthcare” nor realize its full potential.
“With more than 40,000 apps in the marketplace, mHealth remains the one area of healthcare that is largely unregulated and untested,” states the Happtique announcement. “Operating as a complement to FDA oversight, the HACP provides the market with a means to self-regulate, raising the bar for all developers while increasing consumer and provider confidence in this rapidly growing industry.”