American Telemedicine Association launches safety evaluation tool for digital health apps

The American Telemedicine Association is teaming up with the Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps to develop a review process for U.S. providers, insurers and employers to apply to ensure health apps are safe and effective for patients.

Daresbury, U.K.-based ORCHA powers an automated intelligent review engine that allows healthcare organizations to assess thousands of apps against more than 300 measures when building and managing a health app program, according to the Oct. 15 news release.

Working together, the ATA and ORCHA will create a review process and criteria specifically for the U.S. market. App developers will be able to submit their app for review against ORCHA's more than 300 measures, and if it meets the criteria, it will be added to the ATA's library of approved apps. Providers, insurers and employers will then be able to use the library to create their own health app collection of high-quality apps suitable for patients.

ORCHA has evaluated more than 4,000 health apps currently available in the U.S. against its criteria and found that only 15 percent meet quality thresholds, which cover healthcare, security and usability standards for safeguarding patients.

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