What makes a good clinical app? Introducing the RCP Health Informatics Unit checklist

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Abstract

Doctors increasingly rely on medical apps running on smart phones or tablet computers to support their work. However, these apps vary hugely in the quality of their data input screens, internal data processing, the methods used to handle sensitive patient data and how they communicate their output to the user. Inspired by Donabedian's approach to assessing quality and the principles of good user interface design, the Royal College of Physicians’ Health Informatics Unit has developed and piloted an 18-item checklist to help clinicians assess the structure, functions and impact of medical apps. Use of this checklist should help clinicians to feel more confident about using medical apps themselves, about recommending them to their staff or prescribing them for patients.

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