Digital Health Technologies

Using digital health in healthcare, research, and education. Information on work/research being done here at UNC-Chapel Hill.

How to evaluate apps

Before downloading an app, there are some questions you should ask about the app and its creator. 

One model for evaluating apps is CRAPPIES


  • How current is the app?
  • When was it developed?
  • When was the app last updated?


  • How relevant is the app to your education purpose or learning outcome?


  • Who created the app?
  • Who is the author, publisher, or source?
  • What is their expertise?


  • What is the purpose of the app?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?


  • Does the app have a privacy statement or settings?
  • Does the app share information on social networks?
  • Does it use location services?


  • Is it easy to use?
  • Can you use it without instructions?
  • Is it age appropriate?


  • How easily can you find (needed) information?

Stable or security

  • Does the app crash?
  • How secure is the app?

SMILE - Evaluating Educational Apps (CRAPPIES) by Stefanie Havelka, Lehman College and Libguides at Emporia State University, modified by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at  Above information is from using the CRAPPIES information as a model.

Evaluating mental health apps

There are a plethora of apps available for mindfulness and mental health.  The American Psychiatric Assocation has developed an app evaluation model specifically for these types of apps.  Information on the model and an example of how to use it in rating an app can be found on their website:

Evaluating mobile health app articles from PubMed

Loading ...

Finding reviews

Finding reviews of apps can help in the evaluation/selection process.  Here are a few places to look for reviews:

iMedicalApps -

iMedicalApps is an independent online medical publication for medical professionals, patients, and analysts interested in mobile medical technology and health care apps. Our physician editors lead a team of physicians, allied health professionals, medical trainees, and mHealth analysts in providing reviews, research, and commentary of mobile medical technology. Our publication is heavily based on our own experiences in the hospital and clinic setting.

AppAdvice -

AppAdvice is the ideal resource on the Web for people looking to discover iOS apps. We thoroughly filter through the 1,500,000+ apps in the App Store to bring you up to date on relevant news regarding apps, as well as providing detailed app reviews.

PC Magazine -

PC Magazine has a long standing tradition of helping users understand technology.  Most of the reviews are more consumer oriented than medical.

Mobihealthnews -

MobiHealthNews is the publication of record for digital health, providing news, analysis, and data to innovators at provider groups, payers, pharma companies, tech and venture capital firms as well as startups. For nearly 10 years, MobiHealthNews has identified and contextualized the emerging trends in digital health helping its readers shape what's next in healthcare.

mHealthIntelligence - (published by Xtelligent Media) provides the latest news, featured stories, and emerging trends in mobile health (mHealth) for healthcare organizations and providers. From devices and applications to regulation and governance, our editorial team connects with healthcare professionals and subject-matter experts to discuss and share best practices in mHealth adoption and use.

Journal of mHealth -

The Journal of mHealth is an international print & digital publication which brings the latest professional developments in mobile, digital and connected health technologies to healthcare and industry professionals around the world.