Exclusive: Apple now asking app developers to provide sources of medical information

Iltifat Husain MD (@iltifatMD) contributed to this piece

Recently there have been signs Apple is taking the reliability and content of medical apps sold through the App Store more seriously.

iMedicalApps recently reported that medical apps containing drug dosages were being rejected from the App Store. Further information has now become available that suggests Apple is now looking to ensure the information contained in each medical app is appropriately validated.

It appears a number of developers have had requests to release or update medical apps rejected on the basis of incomplete metadata as per the screenshot below. Specifically, Apple is requesting information regarding the source of the medical information contained in the app.

apple requesting information

This is an exciting development from Apple as it suggests they are concerned about the potential for misinformation contained in medical apps. By asking developers to verify the information contained in the app, Apple will encourage developers to cite the sources of the information contained — similar to how medical journals are written. Whether or not Apple has the ability to accurately assess the validity of the sources cited remains to be seen.

We’re also hoping this will curb the medical plagiarism currently rampant in the App Store, something we highlighted last week.

On the whole — this has the potential to be  a game changer and dramatically improve the medical content in the app store.  It’s our opinion at iMedicalApps that every medical app should cite the resources they use when appropriate.

If you submitted a medical app recently and received this prompt from Apple, we’d love to hear from you — and to hear what you did to improve your app.