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Privacy and Security App Guidelines: We Want to Hear From You

Looking at computer screen

Mobile health apps are playing an increasing role in healthcare, but the emergence of mobile apps as part of therapeutic regimens is creating challenges for both sides of the market, including uncertainties among providers about recommending apps to their patients. At the same time, patients are starting to demand always-on, instant access to their healthcare, while app developers are challenged by rapid development cycles required for success in the app market versus the thoughtful, long-term evaluation of safety and efficacy that is standard in healthcare.

Acknowledging this, organizations are responding to customers, members, patients and clinicians who are asking questions about how to discern safe and effective apps from the tens of thousands appearing in app stores.

Providing Clear Guidelines for App Developers

One important initiative aiming to address this challenge is being led by HIMSS, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, and the DHX Group – the formation of the non-profit Xcertia collaborative to provide clear guidelines for app developers.

Xcertia’s goal is to provide consensus-based guidelines for app developers focusing on five areas:

  1. Privacy
  2. Security
  3. Usability
  4. Operability
  5. Content

Through the hard work of Xcertia’s members, including several HIMSS experts, and with input from our strategic partners and board members, Xcertia released the first draft of its App Privacy and Security Guidelines for public comment.

HIMSS members and all interested parties are encouraged to visit Xcertia’s guidelines to provide comments, which can be entered directly on the page. The comment period will remain open through at least December 16. Xcertia will release other sections of the guidelines in the coming weeks and all will be available for comment. If you or your organization would like to participate directly in the editing process, you can find out more about Xcertia membership.

Addressing Forces of Change

HIMSS is also helping to resolve this tension through partnerships with organizations like Xcertia and the efforts of HIMSS Innovation Companies like the Personal Connected Health Alliance, Health 2.0 and Healthbox. Together, the HIMSS family will help to address these forces of change and is committed to a future where health, enabled by safe and effective technology, is a commodity available to everyone.

Better Health Through Information and Technology

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