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Health information group launches medical app user guide

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 20, 2013

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The American Health Information Management Assn. has released a guide that physicians can recommend to patients to pick the best health apps and use them securely (link).

The guide, available on AHIMA's MyPHR website, encourages patients to:

  • Consider user reviews of apps.
  • Think about personal goals and how the app will help the user achieve those goals.
  • Watch out for the privacy settings and possible dangers such as geo-targeting technology and use of data by third parties.
  • Look for the TRUSTe seal of approval, a certification some organizations use for privacy policies.
  • Use passwords and encryption when possible.
  • Use a remote wipe if the phone gets lost or stolen.

“Mobile health can be an effective tool for consumers to become more connected and engaged in their own health care,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, in a statement. “At the same time, consumers must be educated and make sure the apps they are using keep their personal health information private and secure. This guide gives consumers insight into what they should consider when making decisions about health apps.”

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