- The American Medical Association, American Heart Association, HIMSS and DHX Group are partnering to form Xcertia, a nonprofit aimed at improving the safety, quality and effectiveness of mobile health apps.
- The collaborative will be tasked with setting and promoting best practices for the use of mHealth apps, building on efforts of each of the four groups. It will also establish principles and guidelines around clinical content, usability, privacy and security, interoperability.
- Xcertia’s governing board will be open to consumers, developers, payers, clinicians, people in academia, and others interested in developing guidelines for mobile apps.
Despite expanding use of mHealth apps, few offer real benefits to the user, a study in the December issue of Health Affairs found. Other studies have raised privacy and security concerns, such as a JAMA study that concluded some health apps may be sharing patients’ personal information without their knowledge or permission.
Yet despite such concerns, more providers are recommending apps for their patients. Last month, the AMA issued a blueprint for using mHealth apps in clinical practice.
“Secure, real-time access to accurate electronic health information gives consumers, patients and clinicians the knowledge needed to make informed health-related decisions,” Carla Smith, executive vice president of HIMSS, said in a statement. “With safe, effective, and reputable mobile health apps, clinicians, caregivers, consumers, and patients can better manage care, and maintain their wellness.”