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Apple asking app developers to cite sources of medical information

post #1 of 14
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As iOS devices are increasingly used both by physicians and patients, Apple is apparently tightening regulations on developers that make health minded apps for those devices, requiring now that they fully indicate the sources from which they are drawing medical information.



Apple has reportedly begun sending notices to developers of medical apps containing references to drug dosages, informing those developers that they should provide detailed information on the sources from which they gathered information on dosing. This according to iMedicalApps, which posted one such notice on Wednesday.

Apple is apparently rejecting or postponing certain medical apps on the basis of "incomplete metadata" until the developers are able to fully detail the sources they used to generate certain advisory content in their apps. Developers will not have to submit new binaries in order to gain approval, but complete information on sourcing is required.

apple-requesting-info-130918.jpg


The move demonstrates the degree of seriousness with which Apple is addressing the potential for misinformation in medical apps. Apple's iPads and iPhones are becoming increasingly popular among both physicians and patients, and that fact has led to an explosion of medicine-related apps on the iOS platform.

The move may also inhibit plagiarism within the App Store, which is especially a problem among medical apps. The September issue of the British Medical Journal told the tale of three physicians accused of fully plagiarizing the Doctor's Guide to Critical Appraisal in their app. The doctors had titled their software "Critical APPraisal" when it was released in 2011.
post #2 of 14

The link on the main site page is giving a 404 not found error.

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post #3 of 14

And the images aren't loading.

post #4 of 14
Ok stopping plagiarism is one thing but also stopping crap being sold to people is equally important. I think this is only right. The last thing we need is snake oil in apps. Apple have to be watchful, or next we'll have southern baptists saying if you watch their in app TV station and send your life savings they'll cure you if you are lame or raise you from the dead.
Edited by digitalclips - 9/19/13 at 5:35am
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post #5 of 14
I doubt very much that this is about plagiarism. What this is most likely about, is ensuring that app developers are not simply making stuff up and if something is inaccurate at least show where this inaccurate information was taken from. This is no different than Wikipedia or a science paper. Apple doesn't want to be held responsible for someone's death or injury, due to medical advice that wasn't based in a reputable or accepted source.

This is actually good for developers, since when it is clear where this information comes from, medical experts can feel more comfortable about using the app professionally. At the same time, if you are dealing with medical data, then it would be worth the developer getting the app certified or validated by a third-party in the medical field. Bugs in certain types of apps can have more negative impact than others.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

I doubt very much that this is about plagiarism. What this is most likely about, is ensuring that app developers are not simply making stuff up and if something is inaccurate at least show where this inaccurate information was taken from. This is no different than Wikipedia or a science paper. Apple doesn't want to be held responsible for someone's death or injury, due to medical advice that wasn't based in a reputable or accepted source.

This is actually good for developers, since when it is clear where this information comes from, medical experts can feel more comfortable about using the app professionally. At the same time, if you are dealing with medical data, then it would be worth the developer getting the app certified or validated by a third-party in the medical field. Bugs in certain types of apps can have more negative impact than others.

Totally agree.
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post #7 of 14

That is great news, but the problem is that just because something is cited, it can be bogus medicine.  For example, there are countless garbage papers that conclude that vaccines cause autism, but modern medicine is under consensus that it doesn't.

Apple wont be able to verify the citations as being good science/medicine.  But at least its a start.  I think the government should outlaw junk medicine like homeopathy, chiropractic quackary, etc AND critical thinking should be thought in schools. Nothing less than that would be effective.

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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClementineOrange View Post

That is great news, but the problem is that just because something is cited, it can be bogus medicine.  For example, there are countless garbage papers that conclude that vaccines cause autism, but modern medicine is under consensus that it doesn't.


Apple wont be able to verify the citations as being good science/medicine.  But at least its a start.  I think the government should outlaw junk medicine like homeopathy, chiropractic quackary, etc AND critical thinking should be thought in schools. Nothing less than that would be effective.

You raise an excellent point and i agree entirely. Apple really need to have scientists they can turn to for verification, perhaps they have already.

As you say the amount of tripe posted as fact by the tin foil hat brigade is astonishing ... Not medical, but one of my favorite pseudo science beliefs stewn all over the internet, is the device that uses the vehicle's (usually read 'pick up truck' ) battery to run a hydrolysis system to help power the vehicle with the resulting hydrogen. Newton be damned. 1biggrin.gif
Edited by digitalclips - 9/19/13 at 8:23am
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
Newton be damned. 1biggrin.gif

 

Well.... according to the font of all modern knowledge (Wikipedia), the principle of energy conservation is credited to Leibnez, Coriolis, Joule, and others. But explicitly not Newton.  "now regarded as an example of Whig history"

 

:)

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

Well.... according to the font of all modern knowledge (Wikipedia), the principle of energy conservation is credited to Leibnez, Coriolis, Joule, and others. But explicitly not Newton.  "now regarded as an example of Whig history"

1smile.gif

Damn, but he was English so i am biased.. I guess they need to remove this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics 1wink.gif

Edit ... actually they are all wrong I read it on Bill Bob's web site. They have perpetual motion pick up truck adapter kits for only $200. The secret is the use of electrodes made of UFO crash landing scrap.
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post #11 of 14

Art Levinson ; a biochemist; chairman of biotechnology giant Genentech is on Apple's board is advising Apple on this new policy, right?

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

Art Levinson ; a biochemist; chairman of biotechnology giant Genentech is on Apple's board is advising Apple on this new policy, right?

I doubt he has the time recently.
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post #13 of 14

I think such changes in policy is right. Developers are not doctors. And the info in the apps should be checked and rechecked by physicians. 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Apple doesn't want to be held responsible for someone's death or injury, due to medical advice that wasn't based in a reputable or accepted source.

 



Actually, adding this requirement could increase Apple's liability for something going wrong, since it could be argued that they took responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the information presented.

Of course, there will always be lawyers who will sue no matter what Apple does, so it's arguably better to do the "right" thing and get screwed, than do the wrong thing and get screwed.
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