The Present and Future of Health App Evaluation

Since 2017, the TIC Salut Social Foundation has had a certification model for mobile apps in the health sector. It reviews various technological criteria to guarantee the quality, security and reliability of certain apps. The aim is to facilitate and improve the monitoring of citizens’ health with these products. The evaluation criteria are classified into 4 areas: Usability and Accessibility, Technology, Security and Privacy and Contents and Functionality. The standards in the last area are evaluated by the Functional Expert Committee made up of members of Catalan professional associations and scientific societies, such as COMB, COIB, CAMFiC, SCEPC, COPFLEFC and AiFICC.

The TIC Salut Social Foundation is also participating in the Label2Enable (L2E) project funded by the European Commission’s HORIZON-HLTH-2021 programme. The aim is to promote the adoption of CEN ISO/TS 82304-2 in Europe. This is intended to create a certificate that sets common cross-border quality and reliability standards for all digital assets such as health apps. This is important to protect rights such as the privacy of patients and citizens, health workers, and health systems integrated in the European market that use digital mobile solutions related to health.

To converge European standards through the work of the foundation’s certification service, working sessions with the Functional Expert Committee and the Pharmacy and Citizenship, Innovation and User areas of the Catalan Health Service, and the iSYS Foundation, are being promoted. These work sessions open the debate to reflect on the current situation related to promoting trusted digital assets for citizens and to find the future fit of the various initiatives that are emerging throughout the region. The tasks include a review of the evaluation frameworks for health apps and how to integrate CEN ISO/TS 82304-2 into the Catalan Health System.

The management of the CatSalut’s Citizenship, Innovation and User Area have highlighted the need to promote safe and reliable digital assets for citizens. So it is important to have a group of experts in the field to have an overview  of the existing problems and the benefits that using this kind of technology provides and to improve the relationship between citizens and health centres.

  • The ultimate vision of L2E is to share a global and reliable legislative structure that offers ethical guarantees to the potential users of these products.