- Apple is getting tougher about which health and medical apps it will sell allow in its iOS App Store, BuzzFeed News reports.
- In updated App Store Review Guidelines, Apple warns that health apps that risk causing physical harm may be rejected.
- The move will make it harder for companies to market apps that claim to calculate drug doses and measure blood pressure, among other things.
Apps that “could provide inaccurate data or information, or that could be used for diagnosing or treating patients” will get increased scrutiny,” the guidelines says.
Apps that calculate drug dosage must come from a pharma company, hospital, university, health insurer or have Food and Drug Administration approval.
The tech giant also nixed any apps that encourage illegal or excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs or encourage minors to use drugs, alcohol or tobacco. DUI checkpoint apps can only use checkpoints published by law enforcement agencies.
Apps that sell marijuana? Gone.
Finally, Apple won’t permit apps that encourage use of a device contrary to safety documentation, such as placing it under a pillow or mattress while charging.
The Food and Drug Administration issued updated guidance earlier this summer indicating it won’t be regulating low-risk products such as mobile health and fitness devices whose aim is to promote general wellness.
With literally thousands of health apps flooding the market, it’s hard to know which ones have merit and which could be dangerous. Apple has allowed apps before that proved risky, such as Instant Blood Pressure, notes iMedicalApps. As the gateway for many of these apps, Apple’s stricter stance could have a big impact on what does and doesn’t get sold.
The hardline outlook comes at a time when the company quietly bought PHR startup Gliimpse (later confirmed) for an undisclosed amount. The cleanup could be supporting the company's direction as it looks to strengthen its reputation on healthcare apps and services.