Privacy and security in mobile health apps: a review and recommendations

J Med Syst. 2015 Jan;39(1):181. doi: 10.1007/s10916-014-0181-3. Epub 2014 Dec 7.


In a world where the industry of mobile applications is continuously expanding and new health care apps and devices are created every day, it is important to take special care of the collection and treatment of users' personal health information. However, the appropriate methods to do this are not usually taken into account by apps designers and insecure applications are released. This paper presents a study of security and privacy in mHealth, focusing on three parts: a study of the existing laws regulating these aspects in the European Union and the United States, a review of the academic literature related to this topic, and a proposal of some recommendations for designers in order to create mobile health applications that satisfy the current security and privacy legislation. This paper will complement other standards and certifications about security and privacy and will suppose a quick guide for apps designers, developers and researchers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer Security / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Computer Security / standards
  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Confidentiality / standards
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mobile Applications / standards
  • Privacy
  • Telemedicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Telemedicine / standards
  • United States