It’s becoming increasingly easy to make a fitness and health tracking app these days. Don’t get me wrong — a killer mobile experience is a feat now that mobile users have surpassed those on desktop around the world. But frankly, the barrier to entry for mobile apps has been getting lower and lower over the past years. Today, we’ve arrived at an App Store chock full of healthcare apps (over 165k) — but the question remains: how many of these apps are actually legit?
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Pokémon Go and its many alternatives don’t have a ton on the line in terms of accuracy or legitimacy. If they work and entertain, users are happy. But think about apps in the health space — fitness trackers, wellness monitors, medical diagnosis apps. If the rules and regulations for game apps are the same as those for health apps, there’s much more at stake — and much more room for serious danger to occur if these apps aren’t actually accurate.
Fortunately, in an effort to prevent this exact possibility, Apple has updated their App Store Review Guidelines, and health apps are under much more pressure to produce apps that actually work. Now, apps that have potential to cause physical harm, provide inaccurate data or information that could misdiagnose users will be under far stricter scrutiny. For many so called health and fitness wearable manufacturers, this could be bad news — but for consumers everywhere, I strongly believe that Apple’s push for greater accuracy in health apps is a big move in the right direction. It’s just the first of a series of steps required to make health technology more accurate and add value to our lives in a greater way.