About the Assessments

The quality assessment on MHAD is done by a standardized and scientifically tested instrument called "Mobile Application Rating Scale". (MARS; https://mhealth.jmir.org/2015/1/e27/). The quality assessment was carried out by two reviewers in accordance with the scientific standards. The app assessment and its presentation on MHAD is based exclusively on the criteria of the MARS rating scale: This includes a quality assessment in the areas of 1. user involvement, 2. functionality, 3. aesthetics and 4. information quality and classifies the functions (e.g. data collection) as well as the theoretical background. A comparison with criteria of the Medical Devices Act or even technical stress tests of security and data protection precautions of the applications have not been carried out and a corresponding evaluation is therefore not found on MHAD. It is recommended to pay attention to a CE certification of the app when using health apps.

Likewise, MHAD does not evaluate the actual effectiveness of health apps. This requires elaborate randomized controlled trial designs or methodologically comparable high-quality approaches to benefit assessment. However, the MARS rating scale includes an assessment of whether such an efficacy study exists for the respective health app.

In addition to these points, when interpreting the ratings, please note that changes may have occurred since the date of each app's rating. When searching for health apps on MHAD, please pay attention to the version number of the app. It cannot be ruled out that health apps listed on MHAD have been substantially revised in the meantime or may also no longer be available.

Information for Users

MHAD is designed to help you choose the right app for your health problem. In our database you can find out about the quality of the content, which means you will get information about

  • to what extent the exercises and texts correspond to the current state of science,
  • how easy it is to operate,
  • how much the app encourages them to stay on the ball,
  • how well the app works, and
  • how well the app design turned out.

The information is intended to help you find an app that is suitable for you. If you have specific questions about whether an app is suitable for you or whether, for example, exercises in the app are recommended for you, you should consult your medical contact (e.g. your family doctor).

For some paid apps that have the necessary certifications, you can receive subsidies through your health insurance or even be fully covered. For detailed information, please contact your health insurance company or medical contact person.

Information for Treatment Providers

The goal of MHAD is to enable informed health decisions. You can find out about apps your clients and patients are using or research suitable apps for your clients and patients. The database is constantly updated and expanded, in addition to the app rating you can also view the rated app version. Please note that even if the database is continuously updated, rated apps may be earlier versions of an available health app.

Each app is reviewed by two trained raters using the MARS (Stoyanov et al., 2015; Messer et al., 2020) and approved by an editor after reviewing the expert opinions. The rating includes descriptive characteristics of the app, functionality, aesthetics, user engagement, and goodness of the information contained.

If you want to become a rater, please contact us. If you have further questions about the process, wishes or suggestions, we look forward to receiving an e-mail.

Information for Service Providers

Digital health applications offer great potential, but in the current uncontrolled situation also great potential danger for healthcare. For example, there is an additional opportunity for population groups that could not be adequately reached or cared for in the past: People in rural areas, people with chronic (physical) illnesses, people with impairments, people with insufficient knowledge of German, the elderly, and children and young people. Digital health apps lend themselves to prevention and health care, as self-help interventions, as tools and support for on-site treatment, and for follow-up and long-term support for chronic diseases and disorders. The prerequisite should always be that these are scientifically proven, theory-based, user-friendly, and low-risk offerings. The MHAD offers you an independent and up-to-date source of information in this regard.


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