Can you tell us about Our Mobile Health?
Our Mobile Health helps identify, assess, review, curate and distribute good high-quality health apps, so that health and care organisations can recommend, deploy and ultimately prescribe digital health services with confidence. To that end we assess apps for the NHS apps library. We partner with EMIS to provide the EMIS app library powered by Our Mobile Health for GPs, we work with Parkinson's UK to identify and make available apps relevant to people with Parkinson's and we assess apps for London's Good Thinking Project.
How did the idea for Our Mobile Health App Library come about?
I was working in Africa on a project looking at how mobile electronic health records could help bridge the gap between the village health workers who saw patients in their homes, and the hospitals, often based four hours or more away in the cities. When I came back to the UK, I realised that the UK, despite our fabulous global reputation for both health and technology, was actually behind in our adoption of digital health solutions. Yet at the same time, we have all these changes we need to address in terms of greater life expectancy, poor lifestyles and budget constraints.
Apps and digital solutions were being developed, but we found either that the apps were being developed in isolation, either by or within the health service with little input from industry and the best practices. The user experience was often poor; data security standards were poor; and there were apps being promoted which stopped working when there was an update to the new operating system. Or apps were being developed by industry without the input of the health service, and thus there wasn’t the buy in from health professionals. As a result, health care professionals quite rightly didn’t have confidence in digital solutions and so the digital solutions weren’t adopted.
What we can bring to the party is good practice from the mobile industry, and an understanding of the regulations, standards and best practices that are already the norm. I ’ve been lucky enough to build a great team with years of experience in healthcare and a fabulous panel of clinicians, health professionals and academics who provide their independent expertise to help review products.
Our research showed that patients are quite happy to look at the app store for wellness apps but when they want to look for medical apps, they turn to their GP or healthcare professional; When it comes to apps, healthcare professionals don’t have anywhere to turn, as they would turn to a drug formulary for example for a medicine. So we fill that gap.
Who has access to the Our Mobile Health App Library? Is it available to the public?
We don’t have a single library that’s open to the public. Our aim isn’t to recreate the major apps stores but to provide a highly relevant portfolio of the best of the best apps. We do two things – we do a lot of work on identifying, assessing and reviewing apps according to an in-depth assessment process which we’ve co-developed over a number of years. Continued....
Read the full interview HERE
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