USA – Guidelines For Mobile Health Applications – Examining The Xcertia Guidelines’ Initial Release

Xcertia — an mHealth app collaborative founded by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Heart Association (AHA), DHX Group, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) — released on Feb. 13, 2019, its initial draft of a new set of guidelines promoting more thoughtful development of mobile health applications (mHealth apps).

Though the guidelines have been in some form of development since 2012, and a release of limited scope occurred in October 2018, the February release marks the first full set of guidelines that cover all five key topics areas critical to app development: Privacy, Security, Content, Operability, and Usability

The guideline sections were developed by five separate working groups composed of industry experts across a variety of disciplines. Workgroup members represent academia, app developers, subject matter experts in the section topics, healthcare providers, and other industry stakeholders. An iterative development process was utilized to build upon existing guidelines drafts and to generate new content.

Importantly, these guidelines are intended for application to a variety of apps, covering everything from home-use data tracking and clinical decision support to apps serving primarily as a resource for medical information, as well as any other type of app operating in a healthcare space. Thus, the guidelines cover apps used by a wide range of clinical and lay (i.e., patient) users, for varied use cases, across a range of use environments…