Current approaches on m-health app research are not sufficiently adapted to the lifecycle of apps in the app stores. This means that changes in the app store (e.g., updating or deleting an app) are not adequately integrated.
Furthermore, no historical data is provided by the proprietary app stores, which is why a retrospective review of app ratings is not possible. In addition, not all app metadata is made available through the app stores.
The framework behind schaffer aims to address these shortcomings by enabling periodic monitoring of the app store as well as an automated method for extracting app metadata from the app itself. The extracted information can be used to train future system to identify effective mHealth apps based on app data in the app store.
With this project I want to stimulate discussion on whether app research needs new tools and whether relying on data from the major app store operators is future-proof.