The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) announced a new partnership with the Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) to create a safety review process for digital health applications. ORCHA provides an automated, intelligent review engine that can assess apps against more than 300 measures for health care, security, or usability standards established to safeguard consumers. ORCHA has already evaluated more than 4,000 health apps currently available in the U.S. and found that only 15% met the quality threshold while 85% fell short. Among the apps evaluated, ORCHA assessed 584 apps intended to support people with mental health conditions and only 29.6% met the quality thresholds. The goal is to help payers and provider organizations offer or recommend safe and effective health apps.
The ATA will work with ORCHA to develop a review process and criteria that meet the specific needs of the U.S. market. App developers will be able to have their app reviewed against ORCHA’s measures. If the app meets the criteria, it will be added to the ATA library of approved apps. Health care provider organizations, insurers, and employers will be able to use the ATA library to build their own dedicated health app library with high-quality apps suitable for their patients.
Currently, about 19% of Americans have downloaded or used health care apps. More than 80% rate health apps as either very or somewhat helpful at helping them sustain healthy habits, monitor health conditions, and share personal health information with their providers, family members, and caregivers. However, the app stores have no regulation or criteria in place to help consumers or provider organizations select health apps that best suit their needs.
The ATA is a network of health care delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth. It promotes policy, advocates for government and market normalization, and provides education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.
ORCHA provides independent evaluations of digital health applications. It conducts reviews for government organizations across Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia. In the United Kingdom, ORCHA conducts reviews for the National Health Service (NHS) and is part of the NHS National Innovation Accelerator Program.
This was reported by the American Telemedicine Association on October 15, 2020.
Contact information: Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Vanguard House, Keckwick Lane, Daresbury, WA4 4AB; England; +44 (0) 1925 606542; Email: email@example.com; Website: https://www.orcha.co.uk/