NHS Digital is currently working with The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England to deliver a health apps assessment and uptake programme (including wearables).
The programme is part of the Paperless 2020 (making the NHS a paperless organisation) portfolio and is due to launch in 2017.
It will aim to identify high quality apps (and in the future, other digital products) which will then be promoted to patients, citizens, healthcare professionals and commissioners.
The process will be digitally enabled. It is designed to evaluate how well an app meets best practice standards for data security, safety, interoperability, usability and technical stability. It will also consider the evidence on whether an app is effective. This will include whether it has a beneficial impact on cost and resource use in the health and care system, and positively influences factors important to users.
The process is likely to require developers to register their digital product(s) and make a self-declaration against the set of best practice standards described above. Responses will be validated by an expert community.
For a subset of the digital products considered, this process will include a topic selection step, based on the overall value proposition of the app to the health and care system.
For certain selected apps, there will be an independent evaluation of the evidence by NICE.
Mark Salmon, Programme Director of Information Resources at NICE will shortly be giving a presentation to the AHSN Improvement Directors' Forum on NICE's work in this area.