Xcertia launched to improve mobile health apps
- The American Heart Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), DHX Group and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) have founded the non-profit Xcertia to establish and promote best practices for mobile health apps.
- Xcertia aims to be a multi-stakeholder collaboration that improves the quality, safety and effectiveness of health apps
- Xcertia will tap consumers, developers, payers, clinicians, academia and others to help develop the guidelines, but will not be offering certification.
The mobile health app arena is a growing market, from free to download fitness apps like Strava and MyFitnessPal to value added services produced by pharmaceutical companies to improve patients' adherence and compliance in chronic conditions and help them to change their lifestyles. However, there are few guidelines covering mHealth apps, and not much research has been published about their effectiveness.
The aim of the Xcertia collaboration is to create best practices, guidelines and frameworks that support consumer and clinician choice. Representatives from each of the stakeholder groups will provide feedback and expertise around clinical content, usability, privacy and security, interoperability and evidence of efficacy, helping to improve apps.
"The founding of Xcertia… represents a significant first step to bringing meaningful clarity and focus to evaluation within the mHealth space," said Eric Peterson, chair 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."
Xcertia doesn't seem to be a completely new initiative though. Back in December 2015, digital health company SocialWellth and innovation and teaching lab HITLAB announced a strategic partnership based on DHX's Xcertia standards.
While this first iteration of Xcertia talked about validation, the launched body is stopping short of certification, which may disappoint some end-users.
- American Medical Association Statement
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