HEALTH & FITNESS
High star rating on health apps doesn't guarantee accuracy
Do you use prefer using highly-rated apps that claims to change your smartphone into a blood pressure monitor? Beware, the high "star rating" does not guarantee medical accuracy or value, researchers warned.
Using these unregulated apps can give people false sense of security, leading to dire health consequences.
"People tend to trust user reviews when shopping online and use them to decide which products to purchase, but that doesn't cut it for medical apps," said Timothy Plante, assistant professor at the University of Vermont.
For the study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the team analysed 261 user ratings and reviews of the app "Instant Blood Pressure" downloaded from the Apple iTunes store before being withdrawn from the market in July 2015.
The results showed that the average star rating of the latest version of the app was four out of five stars, and 59 per cent of the reviews assigned the app five stars.
Commentary praising the accuracy of the app based on anecdotal experience comprised 42 per cent of the reviews, and 10 per cent of the reviews mention inaccuracy.
They found that 24 reviews claimed to use the app for medical purposes, with 11 people using it to manage their high blood pressure treatments, one person using it to manage kidney disease and another person using it to monitor blood pressure after a heart transplant even after the disclaimer that mentioned that the app shouldn't be used as a medical device and is for "recreational" purposes only.
Six reviews came from people who claimed to be health care professionals including four nurses and one physician who gave an average rating of 4.2 stars out of five.
Eleven reviews came from people who said their health care provider -- a total of four physicians and seven nurses -- approved of the app. However only two people said that a nurse and an emergency room physician disapproved of the app, and as a result gave a one-star rating.
"Physicians need to be careful; if you're saying you personally use an app, people will trust it," Plante said.
- WHO classifies 'gaming disorder' as mental health condition 18 Jun 2018 | IANS
- 'Online information on vaccines, autism not reliable' 18 Jun 2018 | PTI
- New subtype of prostate cancer discovered 17 Jun 2018 | PTI
- Gene therapy could restore hand function after spinal cord injury 17 Jun 2018 | IANS
- Diabetes has become epidemic in India, needs urgent attention : Health expert 17 Jun 2018 | PTI
- Delhi's pollution level remains severe; air quality improves rapidly 17 Jun 2018 | PTI
- International Yoga Day celebrations begin in US 17 Jun 2018 | PTI
- Why we can't stop eating junk food decoded 17 Jun 2018 | PTI
- How eating red meat affects your heart 16 Jun 2018 | IANS
- High Vitamin D levels may reduce breast cancer risk 16 Jun 2018 | IANS
Sunday EditionView All
17 Jun 2018 | VR Jayaraj | Kochi
In a swift move intended at stemming the protests brewing in the State police force against certain top officials’ ‘feudalistic’ practice of persecuting policemen and camp followers by using them as house servants, the Kerala Government on Saturday removed ADGP Sudesh Kumar, whose daughter was the other day booked for assaulting and verbally abusing his official police driver, from the position of head of the Armed Police Battalion. The action against...
STATE EDITIONSView All
18 Jun 2018 | SURESH NIKHAR | GIRIDIH
A team of Ganday police of Giridih district have arrested three cyber criminals and found 6 mobiles, 3 ATM cards, one cheque book of Bank of India ,and 8 Sim card and other gadgets from them near Raskutta, Jhilwa, Madhupur and Chapri village of Madhupur under Ganday police station on Sunday. The criminals were identified as Naresh Mandal, Nandkishor Mandal and Mahesh Hembram...