Two main factors dictate whether a health app is featured on myhealthapps.net (MHA):
1. The health app has been nominated as a favourite by patient/disability/carer/family/consumer groups, or by empowered consumers (eg consumer advocates, active members/bloggers of moderated consumer health forums).
Patient groups and empowered consumers identify favourite apps to MHA in a number of ways:
2. The app developer is transparent about the nature of the app. Background checks carried out by PatientView include the following:
Over time, we try to obtain more than one nomination/review from different patient/consumer groups for each health app. Negative comment is included if provided. The levels of usage of the app among the members of the patient group nominating the app is obtained (when available). Even when the group providing the nomination prefers to remain anonymous, PatientView retains an unpublished record of the group’s details, to ensure sources are authentic.
We are now working with our partners and other stakeholders on drafting user-defined guidelines for health apps, seeking input from:
There are many ways to classify apps, but from the perspective of how people use health apps, and their perception of risk, we have sorted the apps on myhealthapps.net into three classes (note that some apps may fall into more than one class):
Disability — health apps that enable people to cope with daily living and provide support to people with any type of disability, including physical, mental and sensory impairment. For example, text-to-speech apps that help people who have speaking difficulties or limited verbal abilities, to augment their communication skills.
Health, wellness and care in the community are health apps that allow us to manage our health and healthcare without the necessity for medical assistance, and which do not result in clinical decision-making by the user, or require input from a health professional. These apps include the bulk of lifestyle health apps (diet, exercise, stopping smoking etc), many informational apps, and those that enable people to gain support from carers, family, or friends. Also included here are simple pill reminders, since in the normal course of events people cannot consult on a daily basis their doctors or pharmacists when to take their medication. (Although these latter reminders do need to follow clinical recommendations, and as such users should assure themselves that the app has been produced with medical advice.)
Apps not included in this class are ones that provide information to help people decide whether they should go and visit their doctor, which are classified as medical apps—in that the person is making a medical decision based on the information received. Also not included are most of the health apps that support glucose monitoring in diabetes (unless they provide diet or nutritional advice), since the results generated by these apps do result in a clinical decision being made by the patient as to whether they should take their diabetes medication.
Medical apps. These are health apps that lead to any sort of clinical decision-making, diagnosis or treatment. Health apps that work alongside medical devices are included in this class as well.
Generally speaking, medical apps will pose more safety risks to the public and patients because they involve clinical decision-making processes (though for some patients, say with renal disease, the food they eat can mean the difference between life and death).
The above definitions hold no legal context but are drawn up as a result of the research already undertaken by myhealthapps with users and other stakeholders. They represent the users’ perspective only, for example the patients and carers who use health apps.
However, we expect these definitions to evolve with time.
PatientView provides this website for use as information, or for educational purposes. We do not warrant that the information we provide on the website will meet your health or medical requirements. Contact a health professional if you are concerned about your health. Nor can we guarantee that the information we provide on the website will always be up to date or accurate. PatientView is providing details of apps recommended by patient groups, an act which does not imply PatientView’s endorsement of any app. PatientView is not responsible for third-party content. Read more for copyright considerations