With well over 100,000 health and wellbeing apps available on Android and iOS platforms it’s difficult to monitor the quality of them all. The question is: do all these apps truly do what they claim to do?
Over the past year, IE have been working alongside Public Health England (PHE) to introduce a NHS ‘kite mark’ for health-related smartphone apps.
The strategy has been introduced as part of Workstream 2 of the National Information Board (NIB). It’s been introduced to encourage the use of healthcare apps by both professionals and patients, with the aim of cutting healthcare costs by £20bn over the next five years. The new authentication process will identify and validate apps that are safe, accurate and beneficial to users. Apps meeting this criteria will be given a ‘quality stamp’, enabling healthcare professionals to confidently recommend them to their patients.
PHE sought IE’s help initially as part of the Discovery phase. The next stage involved running the Alpha and Beta design and build process for the scheme. Our work to date has included:
- Digital consultancy to outline what the process would look like and the scoring criteria PHE would use to evaluate an apps quality
- Held co-creation workshops with key stakeholders including MHRA, HSCIC, NHS England & NICE
- Built a web-based Alpha system through rapid prototyping to gain feedback from healthcare professionals, alongside rapid prototyping and user testing sessions
- Designed, built and completed the Beta service for the online self-assessment forms that healthcare app developers need to complete
We’re currently working on the Alpha phase for stage two, where healthcare professional assess, validate and challenge apps that have passed the initial self-assessment phase.
The process has been commissioned through the G-Cloud government procurement framework and follows the Government Digital Service (GDS) Design Principles.
IE have been involved in a number of healthcare and eGovernment projects, including building and designing apps for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, CLIC Sargent and CW+ (the Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity).
If you've got an idea for an app or a challenge that might have digital as part of the solution please do get in touch.