Medical apps for smartphones: lack of evidence undermines quality and safety

Arthur Willem Gerard Buijink, Benjamin Jelle Visser, Louise Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Increasing numbers of healthcare professionals are using smartphones and their associated applications (apps) in daily clinical care. While these medical apps hold great potential for improving clinical practice, little is known about the possible dangers associated with their use. Breaches of patient confidentiality, conflicts of interests and malfunctioning clinical decision-making apps could all negatively impact on patient care. We propose several strategies to enhance the development of evidence-based medical apps while retaining their open nature. The increasing use of medical apps calls for broader discussion across medicine's organising and accrediting bodies. The field of medical apps is currently one of the most dynamic in medicine, with real potential to change the way evidence-based healthcare is delivered in the future. Establishing appropriate regulatory procedures will enable this potential to be fulfilled, while at all times ensuring the safety of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvidence Based Medicine
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)90-2
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2013


  • Cell Phone
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


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