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Welcome to the BATLab’s Weekly Lit Review, where every week we post peer-reviewed papers relevant to our research projects.

This week, take a look at this interesting and relevant study published in 2016 in Mobile Systems:


Being the third fastest-growing app category behind games and utilities, mHealth apps are changing the healthcare model, as medicine today involves the data they compile and analyse, information known as Big Data. However, the majority of apps are lacking in security when gathering and dealing with the information, which becomes a serious problem. This article presents a guide regarding security solution, intended to be of great use for developers of mHealth apps.
In August 2015 current mobile health apps were sought out in virtual stores such as Android Google Play, Apple iTunes App Store etc., in order to classify them in terms of usefulness. After this search, the most widespread weaknesses in the field of security in the development of these mobile apps were examined, based on sources such as the “OWASP Mobile Security Project, the initiative recently launched by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), and other articles of scientific interest.
An informative, elemental guide has been created for the development of mHealth apps. It includes information about elements of security and its implementation on different levels for all types of mobile health apps based on the data that each app manipulates, the associated calculated risk as a result of the likelihood of occurrence and the threat level resulting from its vulnerabilities – high level (apps for monitoring, diagnosis, treatment and care) from 6 ≤ 9, medium level (calculator, localizer and alarm) from 3 ≤ 6 and low level (informative and educational apps) from 0 ≤ 3. The guide aims to guarantee and facilitate security measures in the development of mobile health applications by programmers unconnected to the ITC and professional health areas.

This article was written by:

  • Enrique Pérez Morera
  • Isabel de la Torre Díez
  • Begoña Garcia-Zapirain
  • Miguel López-Coronado
  • Jon Arambarri

Contributors are from:

  • Department of Signal Theory and Communications, and Telematics Engineering, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
  • University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain
  • VirtualWare Labs Foundation, Basauri, Spain


Read more here: DOI: 10.1007/s10916-016-0513-6

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