COULD MEDICAL APPS KEEP THEIR PROMISES?

Raina Samuel, Iulian Neamtiu, Sydur Rahaman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Medical mobile apps are already in wide use, and their use, as well as user base are projected to grow even further. However, it is unknown whether medical apps achieve their claimed behavior effectively and accurately. To determine potential gaps between app claims and app behavior, as well as between app claims and user expectations, we conducted a study on over 2,000 Android apps. We first developed an information retrieval approach that maps an app’s description to medical (ICD) terms, hence delineate the app’s medical scope and stated goals; our analysis has revealed that weight management, heart rate measurement, blood sugar measurement and hearing aids constitute the most common conditions apps claim to address. Next, based on app functionality, we categorize apps into (a) apps that measure or manage a physiological parameter, (b) apps that claim to treat conditions, and (c) apps for self- assessment. Within these three categories, we establish fine- grained subcategories and for each subcategory we compare apps’ claimed behavior with realizable behavior. We found that app widely overstate their behavior and functionality. We also found that apps employ disclaimers and misleading terms to lure users into installing/using the app yet avoid responsibility. Finally, based on our uncovered app behavior and claims, we outline actionable findings w.r.t app claims and actual vs. stated function, meant to make users safer and apps more forthright.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication15th International Conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings, ICT 2022, 19th International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media, WBC 2022 and 14th International Conference on e-Health, EH 2022 - Held at the 16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2022
PublisherIADIS Press
Pages173-180
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789898704405
StatePublished - 2022
Event15th International Conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings, ICT 2022, 19th International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media, WBC 2022 and 14th International Conference on e-Health, EH 2022 - Held at the 16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2022 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: Jul 19 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

Name15th International Conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings, ICT 2022, 19th International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media, WBC 2022 and 14th International Conference on e-Health, EH 2022 - Held at the 16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2022

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings, ICT 2022, 19th International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media, WBC 2022 and 14th International Conference on e-Health, EH 2022 - Held at the 16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, MCCSIS 2022
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period7/19/227/22/22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science

Keywords

  • Android
  • Digital Health
  • Medical Apps
  • Mobile Computing

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