Daresbury, MAY 2, 2022 – With more than 86 million Americans already using a health or fitness app, digital health brings new possibilities for the healthcare industry.
Yet, in a field of 365,000 products, where the vast majority fall outside of existing regulations, such as medical device regulations, federal laws, and government guidance, there has been no clear way to determine if a product is safe to use. This is stopping the national adoption of digital health, particularly in the fields of condition management, clinical risk assessment, and decision support.
The Organization for the Review of Care and Health Applications (ORCHA), today announced its involvement with a new U.S. framework for assessing digital health technologies, including mobile apps and web-based tools used by healthcare providers and consumers, led by The American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and ORCHA.
The Digital Health Assessment Framework is intended to be an open framework, accessible for anyone to use, to support the adoption of high-quality digital health technologies and help healthcare professionals and patients make better-informed decisions about which digital health tools best suit their needs. The Framework includes components to assess privacy and security, clinical assurance and safety, and usability, and was crafted to support U.S.-specific guidelines, regulations, and best practices for digital health technologies.
The American College of Physicians is launching a pilot test of a database of digital health tools reviewed against the new framework by ORCHA.
Commenting on the announcement, Tim Andrews, COO, of ORCHA, said:
“Although it’s designed specifically for the needs and requirements of the US market, the Framework doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It recognizes and points to relevant existing US regulations, and applies several leading international standards and frameworks, ISO 82304-2 in Europe, Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC) and NICE evidence standards framework in the UK, and DiGA in Germany. We have already assessed a number of products against the framework, and look forward to supporting innovators and health providers to understand where their digital health inventory stands against the benchmark.”
For further information, please visit: us.orchahealth.com
ORCHA is the world’s number one software platform for delivering safe digital health. Healthcare providers, professionals, and digital health developers in twelve countries use the ORCHA award-winning software platform to deliver digital health safely.
Its product range is built around a closed-loop system, delivering the core infrastructure needed to introduce digital health safely, and the governance needed to manage risk. Products include assessments, digital health libraries, formularies, prescription tools, and training.
It has completed over 17,000 assessments on 7,000 apps. Its business intelligence technology, matched with an expert team, assesses a product against security, privacy, accessibility, and clinical assurance criteria, in a repeatable process, with unmatched speed and accuracy.
ORCHA is delighted to have been part of HIMSS 22, which took place in Orlando from 14-18 March 2022. The event brought members of the healthcare ecosystem together from all over the world to consider how people, technology and best practices can advance healthcare.
ORCHA’s stand was on the UK DIT’s stand in the Global Innovation Hub, and attending from ORCHA were: Liz Ashall-Payne, Founding CEO; Tim Andrews, Co-Founder, and COO; Lloyd Humphreys, Managing Director; George Kowalski, Business Development Director; Matt Clearly, Inside Sales Executive; Devika Wood, SVP of New Markets; and Jon Warner, US Advisory Board Chair.
On Tuesday 15, we hosted three-panel discussions in the Global Innovation Hub Theatre, discussing digital health assessments and how to deliver safe digital health. Topics included:
Keep an eye on our website for the next events where you can hear ORCHA present and ask us any digital health questions! In the meantime, if you have any immediate questions or would like to know more about our work, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
85% of Health Apps in the U.S. Do Not Meet Quality Thresholds
WASHINGTON, DC and DARESBURY, UK, OCTOBER 15, 2020 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) today announced a new partnership with ORCHA (Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps) to create a review process for the U.S. to enable healthcare providers, insurers, and employers to give patients access to safe and effective health apps. ORCHA’s automated, intelligent review engine allows healthcare organizations to assess thousands of apps against more than 300 measures to build and manage a health app program. The partnership was announced today during the ATA’s special half-day event at the HLTH VRTL conference.
“The proliferation of health apps has created challenges for healthcare providers and patients seeking to find the most appropriate, safe, and effective health apps to monitor their health and wellness, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and securely collect and transmit personal health information. We are delighted to partner with ORCHA to address this critical need and give both patients and providers greater confidence in selecting safe and effective apps,”
said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the ATA.
“Chat-based interactions and asynchronous tools are an important component of telehealth offerings and can help ensure that everyone has access to safe, effective, and appropriate care when and where they need it.”
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 more than 300 measures. If the app meets the criteria, it will be added to the ATA library of approved apps. Health providers, insurers, and employers will be able to use this trusted platform to build their own dedicated health app library with high-quality apps suitable for their patients.
“This partnership will enable healthcare providers to better spot the best health apps from the hundreds of thousands available in app stores. It can also arm clinical staff with the software that will enable them to connect the right apps with the right patients at the right time,” added Liz Ashall Payne, CEO, ORCHA.
ORCHA has evaluated more than 4,000 health apps currently available in the U.S. against its criteria and found only 15% meet quality thresholds. Most apps fail to meet healthcare, security, or usability standards established to safeguard patients. Such quality standards apply across apps for all health conditions, from fitness to heart conditions. For example, ORCHA has assessed 584 apps designed to support people with mental health conditions and found only 29.6% meet quality thresholds.
“There are many safe and effective health apps built by U.S. innovation companies that have the potential to help individuals create and sustain healthy habits, monitor health conditions, and share important personal health information with their providers, family members, and caregivers,”
said Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, President of the ATA; Professor, Harvard Medical School; and Editor-in-Chief, npj Digital Medicine.
”The mission of the ATA is to create access to quality care for all individuals and this is another important step, ensuring people have access to safe and appropriate digital health apps.”
Health apps offer immediate and convenient access to personalized and engaging health support. Thanks to the rise in smartphone ownership, 19% of Americans have downloaded or used healthcare apps, and more than 8 in 10 rate health apps as either very or somewhat helpful. Yet, app stores have no regulations or criteria in place to help patients and providers select health apps that best suit their needs.
About the ATA
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member 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, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models. Visit the ATA COVID-19 Resource Center. @americantelemed #telehealthishealth #ATApolicy
The Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) is the world’s leading, independent digital health evaluation and distribution organization. It helps health and care organizations to deliver the right digital health apps, to the right people, at the right time. Its unique insight, assessment, and implementation services are improving the health of the population, the health of our health systems, and the health of the health app ecosystem. ORCHA conducts reviews for government organizations across Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia. In the UK, ORCHA conducts reviews for the NHS and is part of the NHS National Innovation Accelerator Programme.
Our Founding CEO, Liz Ashall-Payne, recently spoke at HIMSS on the topic of regulation for innovation in the US, alongside other leaders in the digital health space. Watch the full video here or by clicking above.
“I see a future world where #DigitalHealth solutions are prescribed as often as drugs.”
Founded by NHS clinicians, ORCHA is the world’s leading digital health evaluation and distribution organisation. We provide services to national health bodies across three continents, including the NHS in 50% of UK regions, delivering national accreditation frameworks, bespoke Digital Health Libraries, and professional recommendation tools, specific to the needs of our clients. ORCHA’s unique Review Engine assesses digital health solutions against more than 350 measures across Clinical/Professional Assurance, Data & Privacy, and Usability & Accessibility, plus additional criteria depending on needs.