Medical app rejected by Apple on the basis of simplicity

Discussion in 'iPad for Health Forum' started by marsm, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. marsm
    Offline

    marsm iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Thanks Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Dubai
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0
    Pre-Christmas, we submitted a medical app to Apple for approval. The app focuses on techniques, which were discussed at a major oncology medical congress, to help physicians screen, detect and diagnosis various types of cancers. We received a rejection response from Apple citing that our app was too simple and didn't provide compelling content.

    The app is "simple" - there's no fancy navigation or other fancy features. The app is intended to provide physicians insights into cancer screening techniques in a bid to save and extend peoples' lives, and I certainly consider that to be compelling content for doctors and other medical professionals working in the field of oncology. I replied to Apple, and am awaiting a response, but wanted to see what other medical professionals on this forum think. Since Apple have a section dedicated to "medical", which caters to medical professionals, I hardly think that apps in this section should conform to their so-called User Experience Guidelines section.

    On that note, we attended three major medical symposiums over the course of 2013 (in the fields of cardiology, oncology and neurology) and we spoke to scores of physicians at these events, many of which are Apple users. We spoke to them about apps and digital content, and the one constant response we received was that they [the physicians] didn’t care about the latest bells and whistles in apps – they were interested in easy to read, easy to access, world-class medical content that allowed them to extend a better quality of care to their patients.

    My question is this: for medical apps that target physicians should fancy features (which are a development investment from a coding perspective) take priority over highly-specialised content for apps that are purely educational in content?
  2. n4uau
    Offline

    n4uau iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    185
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0
    wonder how yours compares to itriage
  3. The ~Seraphim~
    Offline

    The ~Seraphim~ iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    834
    Thanks Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Well, that's a secret...
    Ratings:
    +158 / 1
    I ain't no doctor, but if it is for educational purposes, it should be on the educational thingy or whatever it was.
  4. AQ_OC
    Offline

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    6,418
    Thanks Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    SC
    Ratings:
    +430 / 0
    There is a world of difference between "too simple" and "latest bells and whistles". I suggest you work on your app a bit more and try again. I don't think they are saying you need to develop the app of the year, but there is a minimum standard which apps need to meet. Even the feedback form "medical professionals" is subject to interpretation. And lots of times, users don't really know what they really need or want. And finally, why do you think your app should not conform to their so-called User Experience Guideline section?
    • Like Like x 1
  5. skimonkey
    Offline

    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    18,625
    Thanks Received:
    1,076
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Michigan. USA
    Ratings:
    +1,155 / 1
    I'll try to answer this from a Healthcare professional actively treating patients in a large Health System. The fancy features are certainly nice depending on what it can do in real time. Is the app user-friendly and can you access the information quickly? Often times, medical apps become too complicated that it makes it difficult to navigate and learn. It's easier to "forget" about that app and use one that is more favorable. Doctors, Nurses, Physician Assistants, Physical Therapists...etc, are typically on a time crunch treating patients. Their time is valuable and so are their patience in familiarizing themselves to a new app. That might be something to take into account.

    Regarding the educational content. That too is nice, but often times clinical guidelines and practices change overtime. So as long as the educational apps are updated to reflect the most current evidence-based practices-then those apps will be a reliable reference.

    Regarding the compliance standards that Apple defines, that's another matter. Not sure how one could bypass their standards and be approved.

    Good luck.

    Dr. Skimonkey
  6. giradman
    Offline

    giradman iPad Guru

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,494
    Thanks Received:
    830
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +897 / 0
    Well as a retired physician, Professor Emeritus of Radiology, and a medical publisher, I would first expect Apple to not only apply its own app acceptance rules but to also subject a 'medical' app to even more stringent criteria, such as a review by medical specialists, to ensure that the information provided is correct and up to date and does not include any recommendations that may be inappropriate, unduly costly, and potentially harmful to their patients.

    Second, I would want to know the qualifications of the developer's of the medical app to even consider whether the submission is worth consideration - again, this would likely have to be judged by outside sources (or those who may be Apple advisors). Third, the app would have to be useful to an already well educated user - physicians are usually well informed as to new developments in their fields of expertise - whether the app is 'simple' could only be answered by someone knowing what may be useful (or superfluous). I would also want the app to be linked to the internet so that more detailed information could be readily viewed. Finally, recent updates would be crucial.

    Now, not sure that any of these comments will be of use? The iPad is a wonderful portable option that can be used in the medical profession - good luck w/ your project. Dave :)
  7. marsm
    Offline

    marsm iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Thanks Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Dubai
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0
    Thanks for all the feedback... some good points.

    After going backwards and fowards numerous times, we've decided to add features to the app (navigation menu, sharing via Twitter and LinkedIn, annoation tool) in order to create a user experience so as to appease Apple... we don't have an issue adding features to app; in this instance, however, it's a matter of doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff to appease Apple. Nevertheless, we'll do it because we want to continue developing healthcare and medical apps, so we'll see where this takes us.
  8. AQ_OC
    Offline

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    6,418
    Thanks Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    SC
    Ratings:
    +430 / 0
    Apple is interested in creating a quality experience for its customers. They are not interested in making developers do things just because they want them done the way they want them. They are masters of the user experience. You might find that if you make the best experience for customers, they will be more loyal and more appreciative of your efforts. And that means more money, too, as folks won't mind paying your asking price.

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

app rejected too simple