Cupertino, CA – Apple recently released a new detailed list of guidelines when it comes to developing health and medical apps that are helping the FDA enforce guidelines already in place. Overall goal – reduce or eliminate inaccurate data that could potentially cause physical harm.

The changes they are announcing contain the most stringent language I have ever seen Apple use for the health and medical categories of apps. Frankly, these are a long time coming. – Dr Iltifat Husain of iMedical Apps


Applications release prior to the new guidelines, such as instant blood pressure apps, would not make the cut under the newly released guidelines. Here are a few of the new guidelines:

  • Drug dose calculators must come from the drug manufacturer, a hospital, university, health insurance company, or receive FDA approval.
  • Apps cannot encourage excessive (as states adopt new recreational drug policies) or illegal consumption of drugs or alcohol
  • Apps may only display DUI checkpoints that are published by law enforcement agencies
  • Apps should not encourage (for example) placing a device under a mattress or pillow while charging.


You can read the full list of new guidelines here.

Why This Matters –

As pharmaceutical marketers we strive for accuracy and excellence in all forms of communication we publish, to health care providers and patients. In a world that is experiencing an influx of ‘fake news’ and the ability to produce inaccurate information (and not having the time to fact-check everything we read), it is refreshing to see not only the regulators (FDA) but also a de-facto gatekeeper such as Apple take a stance to help protect the public’s best interest.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.