Standard Reporting for Health-Apps
When publishing clinical research results, it is common practice to follow standardized reporting standards to improve the comprehensibility and help readers (and the community) to objectively discuss and decide whether they want to take the risk of applying the results to their daily practice. In our opinion, standard reporting mechanisms for mobile medical apps, following an app-synopsis, may foster transparency and help users in making informed decisions about an app without imposing undue cost or expenditure of time and resources. In order to have an impact, the answers for the items of the app-synopsis should be published in a prominent position, e.g. within the product description provided by the respective distribution channels (app stores) as well as on any corresponding web pages or marketing materials of the developer and/or distributor. To enhance transparency and trust in apps, we plead for an initiative for developing a guideline for standard reporting on the functionality, limits, (data) security matters, quality of development and economical interests. If accepted by all parties, i.e. developers, distributors as well as users, this may alleviate many of the problems that are unfortunately rampant for currently available medical apps.