US agency unveils framework to evaluate health apps

The Defense Health Agency's branch for connected health developed a framework to evaluate the thousands of health apps available. 

The framework, called the App Rating Inventory, was created to support clinical decisions regarding app selection, according to a study published April 15 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The App Rating Inventory produces scores for three categories: evidence, content and customizability. The evidence category is based on six measures, and the content and customizability categories are based on 11 measures each. All 28 measures are weighted equally.

"Although a rating allows a clinician to make focused decisions about app selection in a context where thousands of apps are available, clinicians must weigh the following factors before integrating apps into a treatment plan: clinical presentation, patient engagement and preferences, available resources, and technology expertise," the study read.

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