Alliance Forms to Develop Guidelines for Evaluation of MHealth Apps
Four organizations announced they are forming a new, multi-stakeholder collaboration, Xcertia, dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and effectiveness of mobile health applications (apps). The initial supporters of the collaboration include the American Heart Association (AHA) (@), the American Medical Association (AMA) (@), DHX Group (@digitalhealthx), and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) (@).
As a nonprofit corporation, Xcertia will establish and promote best practices for mobile health apps. Xcertia’s membership and governing board will be open to broad representation from consumers, developers, payers, clinicians, academia and others with an interest in the development of guidelines for mobile health apps.
“The collaboration builds on each organization’s ongoing efforts to foster safe, effective, and reputable health technologies, while complementing our mutual commitment to advancing innovation in medicine, and improving the health of the nation,” said Xcertia’s four founders. “Our combined expertise, along with a diverse membership, will leverage the insights of clinicians, patients and industry experts to help improve patient care and increase access to data.”
Xcertia will respond to the critical need for a comprehensive effort to develop a framework of principles that will positively impact the trajectory of the mobile health app industry. Xcertia’s guidelines will also be a resource to support consumer and clinician choice of mobile health apps.
This collaborative effort will incorporate feedback from its members in a consensus-driven process to advance the body of knowledge around clinical content, usability, privacy and security, interoperability and evidence of efficacy. Xcertia will not engage in certifying mobile health apps, but will encourage others to apply its principles and guidelines in the development and curation of safe and effective mobile health apps.
Xcertia invites other organizations in the patient, technology and other health care communities to join the collaboration and add their expertise to the development of guidelines for mobile health apps. To join AHA, AMA, DHX Group, and HIMSS in this collaborative effort, go to the Xcertia website for more details.
Editor’s Note: The following selection of quotes has been drawn from the four founders of the new industry collaboration.
American Heart Association
“Today’s announcement, and the founding of Xcertia with our co-founders, represents a significant first step to bringing meaningful clarity and focus to evaluation within the mHealth space,” said Dr. Eric Peterson, chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Center for Health Technology & Innovation. “The AHA is an evidence based organization, so we can add an emphasis on evaluation that is critical for the mHealth space to realize its full potential and, truly, deliver better outcomes for patients.”
American Medical Association
“Physicians recognize the tremendous potential in digital health tools and are looking to the AMA to help make sense of mobile health technologies,” said AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, M.D. “Our role in helping to form Xcertia underscores the AMA’s ongoing commitment to innovation and collaboration that helps empower patients to assess mobile health apps, and enable physicians to take a lead role in advancing the state of digital health technology.”
“After years of pioneering the art and science of mobile health app curation, DHX Group is pleased to join forces with our Xcertia co-founders to spark an industry movement in establishing guidelines to help patients in the selection and use of appropriate and secure mobile health apps,” said DHX Group Founder and Chairman David Vinson.
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
“Secure, real-time access to accurate electronic health information gives consumers, patients, and clinicians the knowledge needed to make informed health-related decisions. As a founding organization of Xcertia, HIMSS extends its commitment to improving health and healthcare through the best use of IT by championing the creation of guidelines for mobile health apps. With safe, effective, and reputable mobile health apps, clinicians, caregivers, consumers, and patients can better manage care, and maintain their wellness,” said Carla Smith, MA, FHIMSS, CNM, executive vice president, HIMSS.