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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Health apps have great potential to improve the quality of care and reduce costs, but this has not yet been achieved. Unfortunately, there are many low-quality, unsafe health apps, resulting in different types of risks. This Perspective addresses the current failure to adopt standards for the development and implementation of health apps. For each theoretical stage of the app development lifecycle we discuss problems, examples, reasons, and solutions. We believe that adapted versions of existing professional and technical standards and tools developed for clinical information systems, medical devices and medicines could help mitigate risks throughout the health app lifecycle. Adapted standards should bring more effective user involvement and cooperation amongst stakeholders. We argue that these efforts will ultimately provide users with a wider choice of higher-quality health apps, give healthcare providers access to better quality data, and allow developers to innovate without unnecessary time-consuming restrictions.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Medical Informatics

Publication Date





54 - 57