With thousands of health apps in app stores globally, it is crucial to systemically and thoroughly evaluate the quality of these apps due to their potential influence on health decisions and outcomes. The Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) is the only currently available tool that provides a comprehensive, multidimensional evaluation of app quality, which has been used to compare medical apps from American and European app stores in various areas, available in English, Italian, Spanish, and German. However, this tool is not available in Arabic. Acknowledging the important and unique opportunity mobile apps nowadays provide in addressing and preventing non-communicable diseases which have become a major public health priority globally and in the Arab region, researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut, International Medical Corps, and Queensland University of Technology published a new study on the development and validation of the Arabic version of the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS).
MARS is a multidimensional comprehensive tool for assessing the quality of mobile Health apps for experts. The study aimed at translating and adapting MARS to Arabic and validating the tool with a sample of health apps aimed at managing or preventing obesity and associated disorders. The study found that the Arabic version of MARS is a valid instrument to assess app quality among trained Arabic-speaking users of health and fitness apps. The researchers affirmed that researchers and public health professionals in the Arab world can use the overall MARS score and its subscales to reliably evaluate the quality of weight management apps.