Xcertia App Guidelines Available for Public Comment

Dec 01, 2018

By: Robert Havasy, MS, Senior Director, Connected Health, HIMSS/Interim Executive Director, Personal Connected Health Alliance

Mobile health apps are playing an increasing role in healthcare, and prominent organizations are responding to customers, members, patients and clinicians who are asking questions about how to discern safe and effective apps from the tens of thousands appearing in app stores. One important initiative is being led by HIMSS, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, and the DHX Group -- the formation of the non-profit Xcertia collaborative in 2016.

Xcertia’s goal is to provide clear, consensus-based guidelines for app developers focusing on five areas: privacy, security, usability, operability, and content. Through the hard work of Xcertia’s members, including several HIMSS experts, and with input from our strategic partners and Ex Officio Board members, Xcertia released the first draft of its Privacy and Security guidelines for public comment.

HIMSS members and all interested parties are encouraged to visit Xcertia’s Guidelines web page to provide comments, which can be entered directly on the page. The comment period will remain open through at least December 16, 2018. Xcertia will release other sections of the Guidelines in the coming weeks, and all will be available for comment. Learn more about Xcertia membership if you or your organization would like to participate directly in the editing process.

The emergence of mobile apps as part of therapeutic regimens is creating challenges for both sides of the market, including uncertainties among providers about recommending apps to their patients. Patients are starting to demand always-on, instant access to their healthcare, and app developers are challenged by rapid development cycles required for success in the app market versus the thoughtful, long-term evaluation of safety and efficacy that is standard in healthcare.

HIMSS is helping to resolve this tension through partnerships with organizations like Xcertia and the efforts of HIMSS Innovation companies like the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) and Health 2.0. Together, the HIMSS family will help to address these forces of change and is committed to a future where health, enabled by safe and effective technology, is a commodity available to everyone.